Posted on March 16, 2022
The orthodontist can be an intimidating or scary place for young kids, especially for their first few visits. Orthodontist appointments can also add an extra feeling of unsurety and anxiety, as the surgeries performed in these clinics require more time and tools than average checkups. Here are a few ways you can help prepare your child for their orthodontic treatment to make it a positive experience.
First, talk them through what they should expect in their experience at the orthodontist. You may choose to do this yourself, or have the referring dentist or the orthodontist talk through the simple steps of the procedure. If your child is particularly anxious about the steps of the process, include the timeline leading up to the appointment! Talk them through their day, then through the elements of their orthodontic appointment. Keep it simple but positive, from entering the clinic to the rest and relaxation at home. Talking them through the day will help them feel more in control of the process and their emotions towards it.
Let them be a part of the preparation! This, too, will help them feel like they have a hand on the wheel of their experience and boost their confidence in its success. Have them ask questions to the dentist or orthodontist, have them set up a recovery zone for their post-operation time, whatever eases their stress over the situation. You might also consider having them pick a treat to look forward to after the appointment, (such as ice cream or a smoothie) and bring them with you to buy it! This provides them with a sense of motivation to endure the procedure well.
Above all, remain positive at all times in regards to their appointment. You may have developed some personal anxieties towards dental appointments—don’t let your child clue in to those fears, as they will instill amplified fear in themselves. Talk about the friendliness of the doctors and nurses at the clinic, mention the benefits of the outcomes, and of the most positive parts of the procedure. If your child is incessant with expressing their stress, validate their worry but pull their attention to the “exciting” elements of the day.
For young children especially, your dentist may recommend two-phase treatment to help your child get the most effective care possible. MI Smile Journey is committed to working closely with patients like you and your child so that everyone feels confident in that effective care—call us for a consultation today to get you and your child feeling good about your coming treatments.