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.