Getting ice cream, going to Disneyland, playing with a friend; sure, you might not jump to put “going to the orthodontist” on this list of super fun activities. However, there are ways you can make your child’s trip to the orthodontist fun.
Some kids may be anxious about their first orthodontist visit. Though they may have been seeing their dentist for quite some time, this is different since they aren’t sure what to expect.
If your child’s first orthodontist appointment is coming up, you may be wondering how to make the visit fun and less intimidating. Keep reading for five tips from your favorite Dallas orthodontist on how to make your child’s visit to the orthodontist fun.
Talk About The Orthodontist Beforehand
A lot of the fear that comes with an orthodontist visit stems from the way we talk about the orthodontist.
When talking about your own dental visits in front of your kids, try not to use any distressing words like needles, drill, or blood. Instead, try to focus on why visits to the orthodontist or dentist are important. Regular dental health check-ups keep us healthy, and orthodontist visits can help fix any problems before they become major.
When it comes to the orthodontist, we recommend scheduling your child’s first orthodontist appointment around age 7. By this time, the orthodontist can check for any misaligned teeth and their jaw placement. Before their visit, tell them what to expect, but don’t get them stressed out.
It’s important to note that visiting the orthodontist doesn’t guarantee braces. Some children never even need braces. But if your child is bound to be one of the millions of kids who need braces, it will be good to talk to them about when you had braces, if you did.
Play Orthodontist With Their Toys at Home
For younger children, it may be helpful to play “orthodontist” at home before their first visit. This will allow them to learn what to expect during their visit, and it will help them shake away some of the fear they may have.
There are a few ways you can play orthodontist at home. You can let them be the orthodontist and you be the patient, or you can be their dental assistant as they “operate” on their toys.
Let Them Pick The Music In The Car
On the way to your appointment, let your youngster pick out the music for your car ride! This will make them feel special and distract them from the appointment coming up.
Feel free to sing along with them; this will help lift their spirits.
Of course, if music isn’t your kid’s thing, you can talk with them on the way there. Whether if it’s about what to expect, what you’re doing afterward, or something unrelated, your conversation will add some fun to the experience.
Plan Something Fun Afterwards
If you are able to, try to plan something fun after their visit. It doesn’t have to be anything big (you don’t need to take them to Disneyland), but it should be something that they will enjoy. Some ideas for activities include:
- Going out to lunch
- Going to the store
- Getting ice cream or another special treat
- Going to the park
A special activity will give them something to look forward to after their visit. If you need to, you can use this special activity as an incentive for going to the orthodontist.
Moreover, the whole orthodontist day can be a day spent together that both of you will remember for years to come.
Talk to Them Afterwards
After the visit, make sure to talk to them to see how they’re feeling, especially if the orthodontist suggests they might need braces or other orthodontic treatment.
Some kids may be freaked out; they might be the first of their friend group to get braces. And some kids might be scared because braces look painful, and they don’t know what to expect.
Try to sympathize with them, particularly if they haven’t had to undergo medical treatment like this before.
Focus on the positive! For braces especially, you can lean into the fact they get to change their band colors every visit. Or if they are not sure how they’ll look with braces, remind them the invisible aligners are also an option.
What We Can Do To Help
If your child is still anxious about the orthodontist and you’ve done your best to prepare them, rest assured that we will do our best to make them feel comfortable.
Our team is committed to developing a bond with your child so that they always feel welcome and safe in our office. Along with our friendly staff, we have plenty of games and toys to play with in the waiting room.
We know busy parents like you have hectic schedules. Unlike traditional dental offices, we are open Monday-Saturday, with evening hours Monday-Friday. So instead of stressing out about missing work for you, child’s appointment (in turn stressing them out) you can relax and schedule an appointment when it’s convenient for you.
A Trip to a Dallas Orthodontist Can Be Fun!
A trip to your child’s Dallas orthodontist doesn’t have to be stressful. Make it a fun trip out of the house! Once you conquer the first visit, the subsequent visits will (hopefully) be a breeze.
If you have any questions about your child’s orthodontist appointment or any of their pediatric dental needs, feel free to reach out to our team at Children’s Dental and Orthodontics in Dallas, TX. And of course, when your friends are searching for a children’s dentist in the area, you know who to recommend!