Children might be very nervous about the need for braces and parents can take proactive steps to help alleviate a child’s anxiety. Children are sometimes concerned with the stigma of getting braces and they are sometimes nervous about having to see dental specialist to have their teeth cared for.
Parents therefore need to educate themselves about the many advances in orthodontics that have occurred in recent years so that they can inform their children about some of the many options open to them. There are also other ways to ease a child’s anxiety; here are some tips to help your child overcome their nervousness.
Explain to the child what to expect before you head off to the orthodontist’s office.
To alleviate any stress or anxiety that a child might have about seeing the orthodontist, talk to the child about what will happen when you arrive. Let them know that an orthodontist can help them have healthy teeth for a lifetime and that the orthodontist has the ability to straighten teeth and improve the look of their smile.
Explain to your child that there are many different types of orthodontic treatments and that the orthodontist will decide what treatments will work best. Be sure that you also explain that orthodontic treatments do not have to be painful.
Children should be seen by a professional orthodontist by the time they turn seven years old.
Many parents wonder when it is the right time to bring a child to the orthodontist for an evaluation. When you bring the child to the orthodontist early enough, major issues can be identified early so that treatments can be implemented as intervention.
An orthodontist will examine the jaw and the child’s teeth and he or she will make impressions of the teeth during the first examination. A soft, pliable material is inserted into the child’s mouth so that a model of the child’s teeth can be made.
Bring any information about your child’s dental history with you to the first exam.
While the orthodontist may want to take head x-rays to get a full view of the teeth and bones, it is helpful for you to bring any past x-rays and any information regarding dental treatments in the past with you to the first examination. You will have to fill out forms indicating treatments your child has received in the past and this process is easier when you have all of your documentation on hand.
After x-rays, your child will probably be photographed so that the orthodontist can visually track chances in the appearance of your teeth and smile over time.
Be interactive in the planning phase of your child’s orthodontic treatment plans.
When the orthodontist speaks to you, do not hesitate to ask questions and encourage your child to ask questions about the treatment plan too.
Make sure you and your child understand the treatment plan and everything that will occur in the coming months. The more you and your child understand the treatment plan, the more comfortable you will both be.