All posts by AO Smiles

Scared of Orthodontist

5 Ways to Help Your Child Stop Their Fear of the Orthodontist

Kids being afraid of the orthodontist is normal. They may have heard scary stories or are unsure of what their life will be after their visit.

Their fear of the orthodontist shouldn’t stop them from making and going to their appointments, oral health is important for overall health. Luckily, there are ways to help soothe their fears.

Listen to Their Fears

No one likes to be ignored. Listening to your child’s fear will let them feel heard and more secure. There are a variety of worries that come with an orthodontist’s appointment.

For example, pain is usually the number one fear. Having painful experiences with a dentist could cause a lot of anxiety towards an orthodontic appointment.

If your child is getting braces or Invisalign, it may be a good idea to explain to them that some discomfort is expected, but nothing will be painful. Discomfort can occur when the appliances are adjusted, during the time that your mouth is getting used to them, and other occurrences. It’s crucially important to be honest with them as you explain the process, while also keeping their fears in mind.

They could also be afraid of how they are going to look in front of their peers, or that they’ll be made fun of. If their appearance is a large concern, clear brackets or Invisalign Teen may be the best option for them.

Listen to their fears and work with them to create tools for them to feel better. Knowing what to expect can bring comfort to your child.

5 Ways to Help with Their Fear of Orthodontists

Any and all these suggestions can help ease their fear of the orthodontist. Some may suit your child better than others depending on their personality.

1. Make a Pre-Appointment Meeting

Remember how knowing what’s going to happen can bring a sense of comfort? Start by making a consultation appointment. By doing this, your child can meet Dr. Larrabee and the staff and see how friendly we are.

At the consultation, if treatment is recommended, your expert treatment coordinator will review the step-by-step process of what to expect at each visit from start to finish. Your child can ask any questions they have.

2. No Surprise Appointments

No one likes getting surprised by an appointment, especially if you’re already nervous. Going back to knowing what will happen, it’s good to let them know a few days before the appointment.

However, you don’t want to let them know too early, because that’ll give them more time to stew in their anxiety.

3. Find a Kid-Friendly Orthodontist

While no orthodontist is deliberately mean to children, finding an especially kid-friendly orthodontist will make everything go smoother. Luckily, Dr. Larrabee loves kids and does everything he can to make them feel better about the whole process.

4. Let Them Bring Their Favorite Toy

Is there a special stuffed animal or blanket that they cuddle with all the time? Let them bring it with them to the appointment. They can cling to it while the orthodontist works. It’s an extra layer of comfort.

5. Advanced Orthodontics’ Kids Club

The Kids’ Club is a fun way to let Dr. Larrabee keep track of your child’s dental progress. Once your child becomes part of the club, they can earn points for going to regular appointments, great oral hygiene, community service, and good grades. With these points, they can get all kinds of prizes.

Make an Appointment Today

Now that you know there are ways to bring some comfort to your child about orthodontists, come visit us.

Feel free to use our Contact Us page or call our Mesa office at (480) 357-4900 or our Chandler office at (480) 550-5500.

5 Things I Wish Had Known Before Getting Invisalign

Your smile is important. It’s the first thing that makes an impression on other people. It gives you confidence.

What if your smile isn’t as straight as you want it to be? While braces have been a tried-and-true orthodontic treatment to straighten teeth, it may not seem like the best option for your lifestyle.

Luckily there is another option—Invisalign.

Even if you are about to start your teeth straightening journey, have you done your research?

Are you prepared for what the process entails? Do you realize what you’ll deal with daily? If not, don’t worry – Advanced Orthodontics is here to help give you the scoop!

The Length of the Invisalign Journey

The majority of Invisalign treatments last for at least a year – however, this can vary due to what Dr. Larrabee recommends. There will be certain milestones that will require you to get new alignments along the way to help your teeth progress into a healthy, straight smile!

First, you will meet with Dr. Larrabee to get an initial exam as well as our 3D impression-free scan. After that, you will receive your first custom-made Invisalign aligner in about four to six weeks.

From there, you will switch to the next aligner every week. That’s right, every week. This is to help ensure your progress continues quickly and smoothly.

Around two or three months later, you go in for a checkup. This is to see if Invisalign is working as it should and your teeth are progressing correctly.

Finally, depending on your progress, in six to twelve months you are due for another checkup. This appointment is to make the final adjustments that will finish your Invisalign journey!

For more information, read our infographic about Getting Started With Invisalign!

5 Things to Know Before Getting Invisalign

It’s well known that this Invisalign is a dependable method for teeth straightening. Here are some tips for Invisalign treatment that people have shared:

1. Invisalign Requires More Responsibility Than Braces

Even though it’s easier to use than braces, the process is complicated. It doesn’t matter if you’re an adult or a child.

Because the Invisalign aligners are removable, you have to pay more attention to it than braces, which are permanently adhered to your teeth. You will have multiple aligners to keep track of and it can become expensive if you lose or damage any.

You also have to be diligent about cleaning your aligners, especially after meals, where you will need to wash your teeth AND the aligners. This will prevent bacteria from growing in them, which could cause complications along the way.

In addition, you will have to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours each day. Don’t give in to the temptation of taking them off whenever you feel like it, or leaving them off for extended periods of time – ultimately, you may affect the progress you are making which could result in a longer treatment time.

2. Slight Changes in Your Speech

Similar to braces, there will be a slight learning curve to speaking with aligners in your mouth. Each new aligner may present new challenges, such as a slight lisp. Luckily, your speech won’t be affected very much or for very long, and some patients report having no issues whatsoever!

Eventually, you will get used to it and speak as you normally would.

If you are continually having a problem, or if your speech is heavily affected, this could mean that there’s an issue with the aligner you are using. You should make an appointment with Dr. Larrabee to have it looked at as soon as you can.

3. There May Be Some Discomfort

Because your teeth are going through changes and the aligners are putting pressure on your teeth, you may experience some discomfort. This may happen each time you change aligners, though results may vary from patient to patient.

Even though you may still be uncomfortable at times, Invisalign is much more pleasant than if you had braces. There isn’t any metal being put in your mouth that can irritate your gums or tongue.

4. Don’t Forget About Hygiene!

It’s important to pay attention to your oral hygiene a lot more than usual during your Invisalign process. Luckily, you can remove your aligners and brush and floss with ease, which is very different than cleaning your teeth with braces. Cleaning prevents gum disease, tooth decay, and other oral issues that could impede your progress to straight teeth.

5. Wash Your Hands Often

Because your aligners are removable, you will have your hands in your mouth more than usual. This is because it is recommended to remove your Invisalign aligners every time you eat, or engage in sports.

It’s important to wash your hands before and after putting your fingers in your mouth. Washing prevents spreading germs that could get you or others sick!

Now You Are Prepared for Anything with Invisalign!

These tips were curated from patients who have undergone and LOVED their Invisalign treatment – we hope some of these will be helpful for you as you start your journey with Advanced Orthodontics! While it does take some adjustments to your lifestyle and habits, you’ll have a beautiful, healthy smile to show off your hard work and dedication.

Get in Touch with Advanced Orthodontics to Get Started

We look forward to providing you with top-notch orthodontic treatment that gives you the confidence in your smile that you deserve. With locations in both Mesa and Chandler, we are conveniently located for patients across the region. Contact us today to get started!

Photograph of teenager using Invisalign for their orthodontic treatment to straighten their teeth.

INFOGRAPHIC: Getting Started with Invisalign

INFOGRAPHIC: Getting Started with Invisalign

Getting started with Invisalign at Advanced Orthodontics could not be easier. Dr. Larrabee and the Team at Advanced Orthodontics make the process as smooth as possible. See below for a comprehensive infographic that goes over the process of getting started with Invisalign at Advanced Orthodontics!

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Photo of two kids with sunglasses

What is the Best Age to Start Orthodontics?

This is a great question that many parents ask! After all, you see people of all ages wearing traditional or clear braces and it can make you wonder if age actually matters. And, in fact, it does.

Getting braces as an adult is better than nothing if you need it. However, early orthodontic treatment is best for a multitude of reasons.

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