A child’s first visit to their orthodontist in Melbourne, FL can be a scary experience. It can be spooky for adults, too, but less so; therefore, we’re primarily going to focus this post on children and parents. Adults can probably infer the rest by reading what follows!
The First Orthodontic Visit
It generally takes one to two hours to complete a first visit to Reddick Orthodontics. If there’s enough time available, we may start the process by giving you and your child a tour of the office, so you can show your child the exam room and some of the “cool” equipment like an X-ray machine. They’ll also get to meet and say “Hi” to some of the friendly staff at our office.
After that, your child will get to sit down in the big patient chair for their first orthodontic visit. There will not be any treatments administered during a first orthodontic appointment; it’s just a detailed exam. There will not be any tooth extractions, no needles or anything else that typically causes anxiety in children (and many adults).
The orthodontist will check the position of your child’s teeth. He will ask the child to bite down, so that he can check the child’s “bite” and make sure the teeth are aligned properly (or if there’s a potential problem). Some X-rays might be taken to see whether there are any issues with the jawbone or the teeth that should be addressed.
What Happens if Treatment is Recommended?
Orthodontists are specially trained to identify oral problems before they occur. This can include things such as determining whether “adult” teeth will come in crooked, due to crowded “baby” teeth; whether a misaligned “bite” (malocclusion) will create problems later on; and much more.
If a potential future problem is located by the orthodontist during your child’s first appointment, a course of treatment to correct the problem will be recommended. If a specific kind of orthodontic appliance will be needed, Reddick Orthodontics might make an impression or mold of your child’s teeth during this first appointment, in order to have a custom-made treatment appliance fashioned in a lab.
This appointment is the time to obtain a lot of information about the questions the parent might have if a course of treatment is recommended. This includes:
- What the potential orthodontic issue is
- The consequences of not treating the issue
- Different options to correct the problem, and Dr. Reddick’s best recommendation
- Whether any teeth will need to be extracted (in a future appointment)
- The duration of the treatment, from start to finish (some treatments, such as braces, can take years to complete)
- The total cost of the treatment
Our staff will also take the time to go over your insurance plan, payment plans, or other financial concerns that you may have at the end of the first appointment. If treatment is recommended, we want you to have as much information as possible.
Prepping Your Child for This First Appointment
It can be a big help to fearful or anxious children if their parents take steps to help alleviate those fears ahead of time. Most of our “first” appointments happen just as described above. Explain the process to your child and do your best to answer any questions they have. And again: There won’t be any needles, tooth extractions, or any other scary stuff during their first appointment.
Also, talk to your child about the good things that result from visiting the orthodontist. Having a great smile makes it easier for a child to make friends in school, and it will help them on job interviews or in their career when they’re “all grown up.” Plus, having a good “bite” makes it easier for them to chew their food and talk. And who doesn’t love a great smile?
Finally, set up a fun activity with your child for after the appointment and let them know about it. This can be a trip to the park or some other activity that they love to do. If you offer them a reward that they can look forward to after the first appointment, it might make the process easier for them!
Schedule Your First Appointment
Whether it’s your child’s first appointment to the orthodontist or yours, we’re here to make the process as fun and easy as possible for you. Contact our office to schedule your first orthodontic visit with our experts in Melbourne, FL today!