Kiddos of all ages have many doctor appointments in their lives, from the pediatrician to the school nurse. The older they get, the likelihood of meeting with an orthodontic specialist might increase. Orthodontists are the lesser-known dental health sidekicks, which might make some kids uneasy. Don’t let any anxiety overcome an upcoming appointment — there are several ways to prep kids of all ages for a trip to the orthodontist!
Explain the Process
Anybody going into something new feels more prepared if they know what to expect. Ask your specialist about orthodontic treatment and what the process entails, and you might even ask them if they would mind explaining to a nervous child what will happen. Orthodontists are used to nerves, so there’s no reason for your child to feel silly asking — even adults don’t always like going in for care!
Some little ones learn better through reading. Ask your librarian if there are any suggestions for a child’s first trip to the orthodontist — since librarians are basically bespeckled superheroes, they very likely will have something for you about orthodontists. However, some of our suggestions include:
- Surviving Braces: A Guide of Tips, Recipes, and More to Help You Get Through Orthodontic Treatment by Jennifer Webb and Tracy Gilbert. Better geared towards teenagers and young adults, this informative guide explains the process from beginning to end. Best of all, it was authored by two people in the field of orthodontists.
- Emma Gets Braces! by Baron Hall. It is a fun take on an informative book by giving readers the ABC’s of braces, a good fit for both boys and girls.
- Smile by Raina Telgmeier. This book is best geared towards tween girls, as it is a novel about a sixth-grade girl and her woes of dealing with oral surgery and going to the orthodontist. Kids can enjoy Raina’s story while learning valuable information at the same time, finding a character that they can relate to.
Remind Kids That It’s Not Uncommon
When you’re insecure about something, you feel like a spotlight is shone all over it at all times. Some kids might feel like getting braces is the end of the world because nobody else has them!! You can disprove this argument by giving an uneasy kiddo some hard statistics:
- Adult braces are very real — about 20% of the braces-wearing population are actually adults.
- The wires that hold your braces in place were invented by NASA to use in the space program! It just so happened that the wires contained just the right flexibility for use in your mouth.
- Plenty of celebrities have worn braces to get those pearly whites just straight enough — some of them include Emma Watson (yup, Hermione herself!), Miley Cyrus, and Justin Bieber.
It is perfectly logical for a kiddo to be nervous about their first orthodontist visit, but preparedness is key. Help to alleviate any of junior’s worries beforehand by ensuring that they know exactly what will happen during their first visit. Call our office today to learn more information and book your free orthodontic consultation for you or your child with Dr. Nowlin!