Orthodontic treatment is extremely common, and as a parent, you may not realize that many children have fears of the unknown when it comes to their first orthodontic appointment. Fear of pain, the application process, food restrictions, and fear of the unknown can make kids nervous. It is always our goal at Thomas Orthodontics to help you and your child feel as comfortable and confident as possible throughout the entire braces process.
Here are the most common fears we see from kids and teens who are nervous about their first visit, and tips on how you can help.
Listen to Their Fears
Children fear pain, which may already be associated with large machines, needles, and potentially the dentist. If your child is beginning orthodontic treatment, always listen to their concerns so you can find a solution together for easing their mind. Kids need a lot of comforting, and listening to their worries will help any first visit jitters.
Fear of Pain
Prior negative experiences with the dentist can shift the perspective of a child and influence their reactions. Listening to your child’s fears is essential in helping them to feel comfortable in a new and unfamiliar setting. Acknowledge their fears and help them to overcome these obstacles with real tools, education, and positive encouragement.
Your child will likely experience some discomfort throughout their orthodontic treatment. After braces are adjusted, when teeth are shifting, and as the mouth becomes accustomed to new orthodontic appliances can all be periods of discomfort and adjustment. Most children never require any anesthesia during orthodontic treatment, meaning that fear of shots and needles will not interfere with treatment as they are not typically necessary.
Fear of the Application Process
Fears over having braces put on can often stem from misinformation, wild imaginations, and from peers who have braces. Kids are often surprised at how quick and painless the process of having braces put on is. Having your child understand the process of how their braces will be applied will help them to feel prepared for what is going to happen. Thomas Orthodontics can show your child the materials that will be used and how the application process works to help ease those fears of the unknown.
Fear over Their New Appearance
The early teens are when most children begin orthodontic treatment. This time in a child’s life is full of peer pressure and the desire to fit in. It’s not uncommon for children to worry about how they are going to look with braces. The fear of being bullied or teased over braces can have your child feeling nervous about their new look. Emphasize that braces are a temporary treatment, and the beautiful results of a straight and healthy smile will last them a lifetime.
Fear of Getting Food Trapped
It’s a common fear for kids to worry about having food stuck in their braces and how it will look to their peers. Empower your child by giving them tools that are specially designed to care for braces. Avoiding foods that may be problematic and how to eat certain foods more carefully are also helpful discussions to have. Remind them that even people without braces sometimes get food stuck in their teeth too!
Fear of the Unknown
Fear of the unknown can be conquered as your child goes through the process and learns for themself that having braces isn’t as life-altering as they may have thought. Having braces can be an enjoyable and pain-free process that passes by quickly. Help to support the development of a healthy attitude towards orthodontic treatment by making the process smooth for your child. Always having the right foods, snacks, and braces-friendly treats on hand will offer real tools and solutions for everyday issues you are likely to face with braces.
When a Pre-Appointment Can Help
Making a pre-appointment meeting can help your child to feel a sense of comfort. Seeing the office and meeting your chosen orthodontist will allow your child to express any concerns they may be harboring before treatment begins to make them less nervous.
Call Thomas Orthodontics today to schedule a meet and greet appointment for you and your child with our expertly trained staff. We are always happy to help ease any fears regarding orthodontic treatment, so the process is as enjoyable as possible for everyone.