To orthodontists, it’s often shocking to find out how many adults are still afraid of the dentist and/or orthodontist – stemming from when they were kids. With all those scary drills and prying fingers, it’s all but understandable how one bad dental experience can lead people into a lifetime of fear for people both young and old. Even though a fear of the orthodontist may be normal in young kids, it doesn’t have to be a lifelong struggle. Here’s how smart orthodontists get kids to be happy and eager for their next visit ensuring it is a great experience for parents and kids alike.
- They try to allay kid’s fears about the drills, scrapers and needles. Good orthodontists know kids are afraid of drills, pricks and everything else in between associated with the chair. They will explain exactly what they are doing, before and during each recommended procedure and treatment. Good orthodontists will reassure kids that it won’t hurt and keep them as comfortable as possible.
- Great pediatric dentistry also will encourage kids to cooperate. Studies have shown that a little positive reinforcement goes a long way with kids. By marveling about how tough a tike is, dentists and orthodontists make sure that kids end up feeling empowered by the end of the visit.
- Good pediatric dentists/orthodontists reward kids after their appointment. Kids love to get gifts! It’s a part of positive reinforcement, and it also makes them feel like they got something out of the trip aside from a pat on the back.
- Smart dentists also know that a good waiting room will make a difference in how a kid feels about the overall office. Plain white walls and unflattering fluorescent lights will not do much to make a child feel comfortable and safe. On the other hand, a waiting room that is tailored to let kids have fun and distract themselves will likely make them feel safer and more comfortable when they’re in the office. Be vibrant!
- Very smart pediatric dental care validates that creature comforts matter for kids of any age. Even the tools a dentist or orthodontist uses can vastly improve a child’s experience. Simple things like having flavored toothpastes can actually keep older kids (as well as adults) happier than most would imagine. Laughing gas or sleeping gas can make a trip completely painless for even the most frightened of kids.
Kids who are naturally skittish, as well as adults who may have had a bad experience in the past, often will need to have the gentle, caring and understanding touch of a dentist who specializes in keeping them happy and comfortable while they work. If your child has been scared about going to a dental office, it’s time to call Dr. Jacquie Smiles – the orthodontist who cares!