February is National Children’s Dental Health Month! This month-long national health observance brings together thousands of dedicated orthodontic professionals, health-care providers, and others to promote the benefits of good oral health to children and adults, caregivers, teachers and many others. This week we want to help any parents out there whose children may be afraid of the orthodontist.
5 Keys To Taking The Fear Out Of the Orthodontist Appointment
Don’t overcomplicate your child’s first visit to the Orthodontist.
American Association of Orthodontics recommends that an orthodontist examines a child by the time they are seven years old. Young children that may have had a bad first experience with a dentist or another doctor may be frightened at the thought of seeing an orthodontist. Don’t include any details that are not necessary, such as having to get certain treatments, if you know this could give your child added anxiety. As a parent, if you are calm and keep the event casual, your child is more likely to feel at ease.
Make it fun!
Bring a favorite book or stuffed animal that is familiar to your child that they can have with them if they need to spend any time in the waiting room. If you use a family calendar, mark the date with some fun stickers or colorful markers as this may help your child be more excited about visiting the orthodontist.
Regardless of any prior bad experiences you may have had with a dentist or orthodontist, do your best to stay positive around your child. Try not to complain about the event or the details surrounding it, because as we all know, children hear everything! Instead, mention what an awesome smile they have and that you want their smile to stay as awesome as they are!
One of the (understandable) mistakes parents often make with their children when it comes to doctor visits is bribing them with toys or treats. Parents say things like “If you go, we’ll get ice cream after.” While on the surface this may seem harmless, children are very intuitive, and may end up thinking “There must be a reason I shouldn’t want to go.” If you would like to reward your child for their behavior after a visit, don’t bring it up until the appointment is over. Then they can be rewarded without having prior anxiety as to why they need to be bribed into going in the first place.
Pick the right dentist and orthodontist.
Our final key and perhaps the most important in taking the fear out of an orthodontic appointment is finding the right orthodontist. At Bernstein Orthodontics, we specialize in making orthodontics fun! From the moment your child arrives, we want to make sure they feel special and excited about being there. It is all about them and their beautiful smile! As a parent, we want to put you at ease as well. We stay away from the cold environment that your or your child may have dealt with in the past at other doctor’s offices. We do this by creating a warm and inviting office, and with our trained staff that have years of experience dealing with pediatric dentistry and orthodontics. We are proud to say that our pediatric patients often want to come back and see us! We would love the opportunity to show you and your child just how easy the process can be. Never fear, Bernstein Orthodontics is here! Request a free consultation today!