Lee Orthodontics

How to Ease Dental Anxiety

Posted on February 25, 2022


An approximated 3.9 million children in the U.S. are orthodontic patients, according to the American Association of Orthodontists. So, don’t worry if your child has an orthodontic phobia. It’s normal to feel anxious before getting your braces fitted. You should relax but you may still feel some anxiety about the whole procedure. Here are the top seven ways to feel relaxed before seeing an orthodontist.

1. Talk to Friends With Braces

Find a buddy who already has braces or is getting braces. Having an “inside man” is massively helpful. Support from a shared experience is very soothing to someone about to go through the process.

2. Refrain From Overthinking

Most patients often feel anxious before procedures like getting their braces tightened. They tend to anticipate more pain than they’ll experience. Visiting your orthodontist isn’t as painful as you anticipate it will be.

3. Relax

There are many relaxation techniques you can try, like controlled deep breathing. So, make your child practice taking a deep breath by holding it for a few seconds and letting it out slowly. Think of how your car’s leaky tire lets out air. Controlled deep breathing slows the heartbeat and relaxes muscles.

4. Find an Orthodontist You Can Trust

There are many orthodontists’ offices for you to choose from. Orthodontists and their teams all have unique office atmospheres, different personalities, and varied treatment approaches. If you aren’t comfortable with a particular approach, keep looking. You’ll get one that’s right for you. Your orthodontist shouldn’t just offer the latest treatment approaches for dental issues, but they should be able to confidently handle patients’ concerns and anxiety.

Find something to distract yourself while at the orthodontist’s chair. Bring on your earphones and listen to your favorite music. Luckily, many orthodontists’ offices have TVs to help distract their patients.

6. Ask Your Orthodontist for a Play-By-Play

To ease your anxiety, have your orthodontist give you a step-by-step play of procedure to prepare you mentally on what to expect. Knowing ahead of time what to expect provides some comfort.

7. Be Ready!

Being prepared is a good way to relax your mind. Be sure to discuss with your orthodontist the items needed after the procedure. Here is a quick list of essential items that you may need to have ready:

  • Travel size dental care kit
  • New toothbrush
  • Mouthwash
  • Mirror
  • Floss threader
  • Saltwater rinse
  • NSAIDs (Advil, Tylenol, or some form of over-the-counter pain-relievers)

Avoiding trips to your orthodontist because you’re scared, anxious, or nervous isn’t in your best interest. Talk to Lee Ortho about handling your fears so that the whole procedure can be easy on you.