Phase I early orthodontic treatment can reduce the need for wearing braces or clear aligners long-term during a child’s teenage years. Orthodontists can detect signs of jaw and teeth alignment concerns in children as young as six or seven, and early orthodontic treatment aims to prevent and reduce the need for more extensive treatment during…
5 Tips for Your First Orthodontist Visit
After visiting a regular dentist, your child may get a recommendation to see an orthodontist. With a different set of skills, an orthodontist handles issues beyond what a conventional dentist does. Regardless of the reason for the referral, it is important to prepare before heading to the appointment. When it comes to children visiting an orthodontist, there are ways to help. Preparing for a visit puts them at ease before leaving home.
Achieving beautiful smiles with the help of an orthodontist
An orthodontist helps patients achieve gorgeous smiles and maintain good oral health. However, children still need to see a general dentist on a regular basis for examinations and cleanings.
The primary goal of an orthodontist is to correct misaligned teeth and jaws. Some patients go to this type of dentist to improve smile appearance. On the other hand, others schedule an appointment because of issues in chewing. Overall, an orthodontist treats problems pertaining to bite.
Along with misaligned teeth, an orthodontist helps patients who have an overcrowding problem. In this case, the space within the jaw is too small to accommodate all of the patient’s teeth. This also occurs when the lower and upper jaws do not fit together properly. As part of the treatment, an orthodontist recommends a variety of appliances including braces, retainers and clear aligners.
1. Clear explanation
Even older children might feel apprehensive about visiting an orthodontist. Before heading to the appointment, a parent should sit down with the child to explain the need for a visit. Something so simple as a clear explanation can alleviate a lot of fear. For instance, if a child has crooked teeth, parents should explain that the orthodontist would help straighten those using braces.
2. Not alone
While talking to kids about going to see an orthodontist, parents should also explain that they are not alone. Especially at the age when children need help with misaligned teeth, they have started to feel conscientious about their appearance. Therefore, children do not want to stand out as the “oddball” at school. Parents should let them know that there are plenty of other kids with braces. That way their kids will feel better about going.
3. Explain the procedure
Parents should explain what happens during the first appointment with an orthodontist. For instance, this dental professional will start by performing an oral examination and taking X-rays. Kids should know that neither one of these procedures causes pain. Next, the orthodontist will discuss all the possible methods to correct the problem. Depending on the child’s exact issue and level of fear, the treatment may start that same day or on a different day not far into the future.
4. Type of dentist
Another helpful tip is for the parent to explain that this is just another kind of dentist. The only exception is this person focuses on different things. These include the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of specific dental issues, including crooked or overcrowded teeth. The child will continue to see a normal dentist for checkups.
5. Talk about treatment options
Although the orthodontist recommends the correct treatment and the parent agrees, it is important for the child to have an opinion. That might not change anything but often, feeling as though they have some level of control puts them at ease. A parent can even show the child photos and videos of what the different procedures entail. This will make the overall experience less frightening.
Preparing your child
Does your child have crooked or overcrowded teeth? If so, talk to your dentist about seeing an orthodontist. For this appointment, preparation goes a long way. Being up-front will make this event a success.
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