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Tips for Taking Stubborn Children to the Orthodontist

Going to the orthodontist typically isn’t a child’s idea of a fun time, but some are far more resistant than others. If your child needs braces, it’s imperative that they are at least somewhat receptive to going to the orthodontist. Should your child be especially stubborn, these tips will help.

Emphasize the Benefits

Getting braces can make a massive difference in the health and appearance of your child’s teeth. If they’re reluctant to visit the dentist, encourage them by letting them know about what they have to look forward to. Show them how straight their teeth can be if they’re willing to go to the orthodontist. If necessary, you might also inform them about what the setbacks will be if they don’t get braces. If you have had braces, you can tell them about the positive difference they made in your life. You could also have them sit down with the orthodontist and have them explain what they can look forward to with straightened teeth. They should be honest about how getting braces can be difficult, but the difficulty is worth it and being able to face it shows just how brave your child is.

Be Open to More Comfortable Alternatives

If your child is steadfast in their opposition to braces, it doesn’t mean all hope is lost. You can work with them to find alternatives that they’ll be more receptive to. There are teeth straightening alternatives available, if your child truly is against going to the orthodontist. These include things like invisible braces. Consult with an orthodontist to determine which alternatives would be the best for your child. If you have an open mind, you can find more options for your child to straighten their teeth.

Give Them Incentives

Children have a tendency to think more in the short-term, so you’ll need to appeal to their sense of immediate reward in order to get them to go to the orthodontist. Decide on a fair reward for going to the orthodontist. It should be proportional and based on things like behavior while at the orthodontist. Rewards can be a good motivator, but they need to be presented as a last resort. It’s better to feel like you’re encouraging your child, not dragging them kicking and screaming.

It’s totally normal to be apprehensive about going to the orthodontist. Your child should be addressed with understanding, not shame or criticism. They will hopefully realize that their fears are far less pressing than they’re making them. Then, they can be on their way to having lovely, straightened teeth.

Here are a couple other articles about communicating with your kids:

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