Overcoming Dental Fear: What You Can Do For A Stress- Free Orthodontic Experience
October 9th, 2023At Smiles and Faces Orthodontics, we understand that dental fear is a real and common concern for children, teens, and adults alike. Whether it’s rooted in the fear of the unknown, a past unpleasant experience at the dentist, or an unexplained source, we’re here to reassure you that it’s okay to feel anxious. We believe that everyone deserves a healthy and beautiful smile, and we’re committed to making your orthodontic journey as comfortable and stress-free as possible. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the best steps to take before and during your visit to our orthodontic practice to ease those fears.
Before the Appointment:
- Open Communication: The first step in overcoming dental fear is to talk openly about it. If you or your child is experiencing anxiety, let us know in advance. We are here to listen and address your concerns with empathy and understanding.
- Information is Power: Sometimes, fear arises from a lack of knowledge about what to expect. Take the time to explain the orthodontic process to your child or teen. We can also provide information and educational materials to help demystify the experience.
- Choose the Right Time: Schedule appointments during times when you and your child are the most relaxed and less likely to feel rushed. Avoid early morning or late afternoon appointments if they tend to cause stress.
- Bring Comfort Items: Especially for younger children. Encourage your child to bring comfort items like a favourite stuffed animal or blanket to the appointment. Familiar objects can provide a sense of security.
During the Appointment:
- Positive Reinforcement: During the appointment, offer words of encouragement and support. Remind your child that visiting the orthodontist is a step towards a healthier and more beautiful smile.
- Distraction Techniques: Engage your child with distractions such as music. These can help divert their attention from anxiety-inducing thoughts. If our team is aware or notices you or your child may be experiencing some anxiety, we will try gently asking questions to get their minds off the appointment and about their day, or their favourite movie.
- Breathing Exercises: Teach your child simple breathing exercises to help them relax. Deep breaths can calm nerves and reduce tension.
- Recognise Your Anxiety Acknowledge your own dental anxiety. Remember that it’s common and that you’re not alone. By recognizing it, you can take steps to manage it.
- Seek Support: Share your concerns with a trusted friend or family member who can offer emotional support and accompany you to appointments if needed.
- Discuss with Our Team: Engage in a conversation with our orthodontic team about your anxiety. We can explore personalised strategies and accommodations to make your orthodontic experience as comfortable as possible.