Is your child embarrassed, anxious, or dreading their orthodontic appointment? We know that no one looks forward to the unknown and we want to help you prepare your child/children for their first appointment. Your child may have questions and so we’ve provided a few answers below to help you give them answers.
Do I have to go?
We get it, going to the dentist or orthodontist can be a scary place for people of any age, but especially for children. Your child may be more concerned about something being wrong with them, that they’re sick, or that it will be a painful experience. Let them know they are ok, and seeing the orthodontist will help them stay healthy and help them keep their smile looking and feeling their best.
What is the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist?
Orthodontists undergo additional training, specializing in the treatment of such issues as crowding, overbites, underbites, and large gaps between teeth. They’re experts in helping develop beautiful, healthy smiles.
What are they going to do to me?
It’s important to let them know that their first appointment is typically just a consultation. They will meet the whole team and get familiar with the office and have x-rays taken. Then the orthodontist will take a look at their mouth, take an impression of their bite to see if their upper and lower teeth meet properly. After all of this is reviewed, the doctor will discuss a treatment plan if needed.
Is it going to hurt?
This is the hard one to answer because, in all honesty, the answer can be yes, especially if you decided to undergo treatment the same day. Be honest with your child and let them know that there is some pain and discomfort with braces for the first week or so, and then again when they have to be tightened or adjusted. But with the help of ice packs (or even better, milkshakes!) over-the-counter pain medication will help, and for irritation and discomfort from the brackets and wires, orthodontic wax can be a big help as well.
Depending on the age of your children, they may have more questions, or maybe even none at all. It is suggested for a child to have their first orthodontic appointment when they turn seven years old. This can help get ahead of any major issues and develop a plan to deal with overcrowding or malocclusion (bad bite) that can arise as they get older. It is standard practice to hold off on braces until most of their permanent teeth are in. This is generally around 10-14 years of age.
If you or your child has any other questions or concerns about orthodontic treatment before, during, or after their appointment, feel free to give us a call at 281-225-6784.