The American Association of Orthodontics and The American Dental Association recommend that children see an orthodontist for evaluation by their 7th birthday. Some kids are thrilled at the prospect of getting braces, and some are scared and hesitant. No matter where your child falls on the spectrum, the first visit to the orthodontist can determine their attitude towards future orthodontic visits. Here are some tips you should keep in mind when preparing your child for their first visit to the orthodontist:
- Explain the importance of taking care of their smile. Besides just having straight teeth, it is vital for kids to understand early that oral health is extremely important and plays a role in their overall health.
- Make your child aware of what to expect at their initial consultation. Knowing what happens will make the prospect of the visit less scary. If you are unsure about what the visit will entail, contact your orthodontist’s office for any questions you may have.
- Set realistic expectations for the first appointment. Some kids may be disappointed to learn they won’t be walking out of their first visit with a full set of braces. Make sure they understand the orthodontist will take good care of them and begin their braces at the perfect time.
- Maintain a positive attitude about the entire process. Be relaxed and don’t use words like “scary” or “hurt” and don’t share orthodontics horror stories. Focus on the result and the benefits of having a straight, beautiful smile.
To create a smile that lasts a lifetime, your child needs teeth that are straight and jaws that are aligned correctly. Good dental health begins early. By positively preparing your child at a young age for orthodontic care, you are setting the stage for a lifetime of good oral health and beautiful smiles.