One of the biggest fears that people have is visiting the dentist. This could be for many reasons. They may have recurring dreams about their teeth, they may have had a bad experience with a dentist or orthodontist, or they may have heard rumors from someone else who had a bad experience. This can be a never-ending cycle. You may be so nervous about visiting the orthodontist that you end up putting off necessary work and you realize that putting off orthodontic care means whatever problem you have is not going away. It might continue to get worse and at that point, you are nervous to go to the orthodontist for fear that the problem is too bad to fix or that your orthodontist will judge you. These thoughts are common and completely understandable. However, your orthodontist wants to help you so that you can deal with whatever oral problems you are having so that you can live a happy, healthy, and fulfilled life.
My child is anxious about going to the orthodontist but won’t tell me why. What can I do?
Feelings of anxiety are completely normal, especially if this is a situation your child has never encountered before. Most kids don’t know what to expect from an orthodontist appointment. They do, however, know the familiar sounds that come from a dentist’s office and this can be enough to put them off from getting treatment. If either parent suffers from anxiety about going to the orthodontist, this can also play a role in how the child feels. Understanding is the first step in helping.
How can you help patients who suffer from anxiety?
One thing that your orthodontist, like our Oceanside, CA orthodontist, can do is speak with the patient before any work needs to be done. This means calling and setting up a consultation. During this consultation, you should feel free to ask any questions and can learn about the different types of tools that your orthodontist might need to use, what kinds of procedures you might need, and what sort of exam there would be. It is a huge step to move from the consultation phase to the exam phase, but your orthodontist is here to give you the help you need to prepare for your appointment.
What if my child has sensory issues?
Many children visit orthodontists and their main anxiety involves sensory issues. This means they may not enjoy the feeling of certain tools in their mouth or they might not be comfortable with certain textures. If this is part of a worry, speak with your trusted orthodontist ahead of time to learn what can be done to make this experience more comfortable.
Should I speak with my orthodontist ahead of time?
Absolutely. One of the best things you can do ahead of your appointment or before treatment begins is to let them know that you or your child receiving treatment has anxiety. This can help your orthodontist take a step back and meet you where you are. Knowing in advance can also allow your orthodontist to schedule additional time for the appointment.
If you would like to set up an appointment with an orthodontist you can trust such as John Redmond Orthodontics, call the office now.