Introducing your children to new situations can be scary for them and stressful for you, especially when they involve doctors, dentists or orthodontists. At KidsBracesNYC, we work to help kids and teens feel at ease during every visit. While there are a number of things that we do to establish a positive rapport with patients, there are also a handful of steps that parents can take to make the visit a calm and positive experience.

Here are a few tips for helping kids overcome their fear of the orthodontist before they even enter the office:

Avoid bribes: More often than not, these bribes entail sugary treats which defeats the whole purpose of going to visit an oral care specialist in the first place. Remind your kid that visiting the dentist or orthodontist really isn't anything to fear. Telling your little one that they will get a treat if they don't fuss or complain will only give them cause for concern about what to expect. 

Keep it simple: According to Parents Magazine, "When preparing for a visit, especially the first time, try not to include too many details. Doing so will raise more questions, and adding more information about an extra treatment like a filling he might need may cause unnecessary anxiety. Keep a positive attitude when discussing an upcoming visit, but don't give your child false hope."

In other words, don't promise everything will be fine, because if your child does end up requiring a treatment or procedure, they may lose trust in you or the orthodontist.

Oral care: Ever since their first baby tooth peeked through, you have been encouraging your kids to brush, floss, rinse and repeat regularly. In the same way that the dentist is a necessity for oral care, remind your child that visits to the orthodontist will only help them maintain healthy teeth for their lifetimes.

Wording: While visits to the orthodontist usually start later into childhood, kids can still get nervous about procedures. Try to avoid the use of words like 'shot', 'hurt', or 'pain' when talking about visits to the orthodontist. Parents Magazine suggests allowing your orthodontist to introduce their own vocabulary to explain procedures and steps to your child at an age-appropriate level.

Whether your child is outwardly nervous, or cool as a cucumber, don't let their nonchalance fool you. The best way to prepare for a first visit to the orthodontist is to answer any questions your child may have, and bring up any fears or nerves with your orthodontist at the time of the visit.

If you are interested in scheduling an appointment for a visit with our pediatric orthodontic specialist Dr. Tanya Vaysman, visit us online or contact KidsBracesNYC today.