3 Tips for Your Child’s First Visit to the Orthodontist

by | Nov 27, 2015 | Dentistry

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Just like any medical visit, the first trip to the orthodontist can potentially be frightening for a child. Although Orthodontic Treatment is a common practice, preparing your child for their first time there is important. Communicating in terms they can understand, comparing it to familiar experiences, and explaining that there’s nothing to be scared of is all part of the process. Keeping a few simple tips in mind will help you to ensure that your child’s first orthodontist appointment goes as smoothly as possible.

Prepare Them for Questions

Orthodontic Treatment can be a confusing concept for a child, especially since they’ll probably view the orthodontist the same way they would a dentist given that it has to do with teeth. Just like a dental visit, you’ll want to prep them for questions. The orthodontist will need to know if they hear any clicking noises in the jaw, or other types of sensations that only they can describe. You can also ask your child yourself before the visit occurs, so when the questions are posed, you can assist in answering them fully.

Explain the Procedures

Explaining that visiting the orthodontist for the first time is similar to the dentist is helpful, since it gives your child something to compare the experience to. As long as they haven’t had a traumatic experience with dental care, this can help put their mind at ease. On the other hand, if they don’t like the dentist to begin with, then explain that all the orthodontist will be doing during the first appointment is examining the jaw and teeth, and then giving a recommendation.

Bring Snacks for Afterwards

Reward your child with the potential for snacks after the visit and other fun activities. While you don’t want to bribe them into enduring the orthodontist visit, at the same time, showing them they did a good job isn’t a bad idea. Of course, you’ll want to make the snack a healthy one, since after getting fitted with braces, many sweet things will be off limits. Set a good precedent early.

Even adults can be nervous visiting a new type of doctor for the first time, so children are especially vulnerable. Although you can visit the orthodontist at any point in your life, seven is usually a good age to start. However, your dentist may recommend going at a different juncture. Everyone is different, so whether you make an appointment with the orthodontist out of a recommendation or for preventative purposes, it will be a successful venture as long as your child understands what’s going on.