Fear can be a good thing when it comes to your oral health. After all, it is the fear of getting cavities that inspires people to brush their teeth. However, there are times when being afraid can hold you back from achieving better oral health. Being afraid of braces is a common barrier that people face regarding orthodontic treatment, and you can use these ways to ease your fear to get motivated to go to your first consultation.
- 1 Try to Separate the Facts From the Fiction
- 2 Identify Your Actual Fears
- 3 Address Specific Concerns
- 4 Inquire About the Different Types of Braces
- 5 Talk About Ways to Ease Your Anxiety in the Chair
- 6 Get Familiar With the Process of Putting On Braces
- 7 HOW BRACES ARE INSTALLED
- 8 Find Out What Your Life Will be Like With Them
- 9 Keep Your Focus on the Benefits for Your Smile
Try to Separate the Facts From the Fiction
You’ve likely heard different things from people about their orthodontic treatment. You may have friends who dislike their appliances, or they may not have followed their treatment plan correctly and ended up with problems. Start by thinking about the myths that make you afraid of having braces. Often, what may sound like a fact is not always true. For example, some people don’t experience any problems with their appliances, and stained teeth are preventable. Separating the facts from the fiction can help you look at treatment with a realistic perspective.
Identify Your Actual Fears
In addition to the myths that make you afraid of having braces, you may also have personal beliefs that hold you back from scheduling that first appointment. For instance, you may be worried about how you will look with braces, or you may be afraid of simple issues such as walking around with food stuck in the brackets and wires. Make a list of your actual fears about braces that you can share with your orthodontist. As you write, take a few minutes to think about each fear. After some careful thought, you may realize that some of these issues are not so scary in the first place, or they may not even apply to your situation. For example, you might be able to wear Invisalign retainers that you take out when you eat so you don’t have to worry about food getting stuck on your teeth.
Address Specific Concerns
Another of the best ways to ease your fear is to find a solution to each potential problem that fills you with dread. You can explore the different types of pain relief that are available for handling soreness after the braces are first put on or tightened. Alternatively, you can make a hygiene kit to help you brush your teeth and avoid stains when you are away from home. If you are the type who just needs to know what to expect when braces put on, then make sure to tell your orthodontist to begin each appointment with a break down of what is going to happen.
Inquire About the Different Types of Braces
You may be afraid of having a mouth full of metal that glints in the sunlight as you talk. This is a common fear for people who are in the public eye or young teenagers who are still developing their self-confidence. It is perfectly normal to care about how you look with braces, and you can also share this concern with your orthodontist. Ask if you might be a candidate for other types of braces that are less visible or provide different levels of comfort. Lingual braces might be an option that allows you to hide the brackets on the back of your teeth, or clear aligners could make your treatment almost undetectable when you are presenting on a stage.
Talk About Ways to Ease Your Anxiety in the Chair
When you talk to your doctor about what to expect when braces put on, make sure to mention if you tend to have anxiety in the treatment chair. They may be able to provide you with a list of options for relaxing more during the appointment. You could try listening to your favorite playlist during the procedure, or you might just like to squeeze a stress ball or stuffed animal. You may even prefer to be able to observe what is happening in a mirror or just zone out. Everyone is different when it comes to relaxing, and you can do your part by letting your doctor know if you need to do certain things to help alleviate your anxiety.
Get Familiar With the Process of Putting On Braces
The fear of the unknown looms large when it comes to anything that is done to your teeth. After talking to your orthodontist, you may discover that getting braces put on your teeth is not as bad as you thought. In most cases, the process is relatively painless, although you may feel some scraping or tugging sensations that are similar to what you feel during other types of procedures. The doctor can also use numbing creams on the soft tissues of your mouth if you tend to feel pain easily.
HOW BRACES ARE INSTALLED
Find Out What Your Life Will be Like With Them
You can also address your fear of the unknown by talking about your role in the treatment plan. Are you afraid that you will have to give up sports? Knowing that you can wear a mouthguard with your braces may help you feel better about starting treatment. You can also eat what you want if you have clear aligners, and you’ll have some fun options for colored bands if you wear metal braces. Learning about what having braces will actually mean for your day to day life helps you see that they are not an inconvenience.
Keep Your Focus on the Benefits for Your Smile
Some of the best things in life can be a little scary at first. You might’ve felt terrified on your first day of school but found that you made a lot of friends that day. You might have once feared riding a rollercoaster or trying a new food, and now you can’t imaging not doing those things. Getting braces is very similar. Once you’ve made the leap, you’ll be able to enjoy straighter, healthier teeth that make you want to smile. Now, all you have to do is start the process by going for first consultation.
Are you eager to move past your fears and start looking forward to a beautiful smile? Our orthodontists are gentle and always make time to answer your questions. Give us a call today so that we can help you feel comfortable about getting braces.
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13046 Falcon Drive
Baxter, MN 56425
How to Overcome Your Fear of Having Braces | QUICK GUIDE 2020
Dr. Michael McDermott earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in both Chemistry and Biology from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. He followed his undergraduate degrees with a doctorate in dental surgery at the University of Minnesota, where he graduated with highest distinction.
Dr. Mike then furthered his dental education by earning a masters and certificate in Orthodontics at the University of St. Louis in Missouri.