It is very natural for a child to be nervous about their first experiences at the orthodontist. Whether it is the initial exam, getting an expander, or braces, there is a lot of unknowns in their minds and they often fear the worst. Parents also may have unpleasant memories about their own orthodontic treatment from years ago. The great news is that we are very aware of this, many things have positively changed over the years, and once children have started with us they are almost always very relieved and happy to come in for their next appointments. Here are some things to describe how we approach treatment with children, and some things for them to know about their first appointments with us.
- We are very empathetic! Our staff has a combined 31 children between us, so we are very familiar with children’s feelings and fears. We are in “kid mode” constantly, and all of us truly enjoy helping to put kids at ease. Personally,I was quite anxious as a little one with medical and dental appointments, so I really try to go out of my way to alleviate kid’s fears and make their entire treatment a happy experience.
- For parents that had a less than stellar experience when they were kids, or had a grumpy or mean orthodontist, I can tell you that your experience here will be soooo much different. I am as patient as they come, and if time is needed to help with anxious youngsters, I understand.
- We are set up for kids to have fun! We have great choices for colors (over 25)and custom color combinations for kids to choose from for their braces (see the color board to the right). We have a selection of Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty for kids to play with to keep them occupied during treatment if they would like to “fidget”. We have a children’s play area with toys, books and movies to set a friendly tone and keep siblings busy. We celebrate the end of treatment with treats, surprises, pictures and confetti! We have fun seasonal contests, decorate and dress up for holidays, and play fun music. It should be an enjoyable experience from beginning to end.
- There are no shots!! Kids usually are very relieved to hear this. It is extremely rare that we have to use anesthetic, and if we do it is usually a topical paste that is like applying toothpaste.
- We give a very detailed explanation of treatment that is needed, show kids examples, let them touch and examine appliances that may be needed, and make them feel familiar and comfortable with what we are doing before we do it. Usually placing braces does not hurt at all, and most of the discomfort from braces happens the day after they are placed, at home. The teeth usually feel sore for several days, but is very manageable with Tylenol or ibuprofen. Kids are almost always very surprised at how easy and comfortable their actual appointment with us was.
- In general we try very hard, and are focused on feelings, not just the “nuts and bolts” or mechanics of orthodontics and braces.
If you have any concerns about your child’s dental development, or worries that they may have, please call Dr. Dan Rejman and Meadows Orthodontics in Castle Rock, and we will gladly answer all your questions!