Tips to Ease Your Orthodontic Anxiety

April 11, 2024

Starting the journey to get a great smile with braces can be scary for a lot of people. This worry about braces comes from different places—maybe you heard a tough story from a friend, read something worrying online, or you're just not sure what to expect. But it's okay to feel this way; you're not alone. 

Today's braces are way better than they used to be. They're more comfortable, less noticeable, and really made to fit you. Even though braces can seem a bit scary because of the soreness they might cause, how they might change the way you look, or the way they fit into your daily life, it's all part of a journey. 

This journey isn't just about getting a great-looking smile, but also making sure your teeth are healthy. It's all about understanding these fears, busting some common myths, and giving you the real scoop to help you feel ready and excited to start this adventure.

Common Questions About Orthodontic Treatments

It's natural to have a lot of questions swirling around in your head, especially when considering something as significant as orthodontic treatments. It's these very questions, fueled by rumors, outdated information, or simple misunderstandings, that can turn curiosity into fear. 

Misinformation or lack of information can paint a picture of orthodontic treatments that's far from reality, making the decision to proceed with treatment more daunting than it needs to be.

With accurate information and expert insights, we aim to dissolve these fears, replacing them with knowledge and confidence. Let's clear the air and move forward together, ensuring that your path to a healthier, more beautiful smile is based on facts, not fears.

Will orthodontic treatment be painful?

The fear of orthodontic treatment often stems from worries about pain, but it's important to know that any discomfort is usually mild and temporary. Modern orthodontic techniques and technology, such as clear aligners and ceramic braces, have made treatments more comfortable than ever. 

Initial soreness after adjustments is normal, signaling that your teeth are moving towards their ideal positions. Open communication with your orthodontist can help manage any discomfort, ensuring a smoother journey to a perfect smile.

Are braces adjustments painful, and how often will I need them?

Tackling the fear of orthodontic treatment often involves addressing concerns about the pain associated with braces adjustments. It's normal to experience some discomfort following these adjustments, as they are necessary steps towards aligning your teeth properly. This discomfort is usually mild and fades within a few days, as your mouth adapts to the new positioning of your braces. Adjustments are typically scheduled every 4 to 6 weeks, a timeline that allows your teeth to move gradually and minimizes discomfort.

Can braces cause permanent damage to my teeth or gums?

A common concern fueling the fear of orthodontic treatment is the worry that braces might cause permanent damage to teeth or gums. It’s essential to dispel this myth by clarifying that when braces are applied, adjusted, and maintained by a professional orthodontist, the risk of lasting damage is minimal. The key to ensuring the health of your teeth and gums lies in maintaining good oral hygiene practices throughout your treatment. 

Will I be able to eat normally with braces, or will I have to give up my favorite foods?

The truth is, while braces do require some adjustments to your eating habits, these changes are not as daunting as they might seem. You’ll need to avoid hard, sticky, or chewy foods that can damage the braces or get stuck, but there’s still a wide variety of foods you can enjoy. The transition to braces-friendly foods like soft fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins is temporary and ensures the effectiveness and safety of your treatment.

Now that we have answered the questions that mostly cause fear of orthodontic treatments, let’s give you some tips to calm your nerves before, during, and after your orthodontic visit.

Tips to Ease Orthodontic Anxiety Before Your Appointment

Overcoming the fear of orthodontic treatment begins long before you sit in the orthodontist's chair. There are several proactive steps you can take to ease any anxiety and prepare mentally for your appointment.

  • Educate Yourself About Orthodontic Procedures: Gain knowledge about the treatments by exploring orthodontists' websites or consulting them directly. Understanding what to expect can lessen your fears.
  • Establish Open Communication with Your Orthodontist: Feel free to share your concerns and ask questions. A responsive orthodontist can modify the treatment plan to make you feel more at ease.
  • Visit the Orthodontic Office Beforehand: Get acquainted with the clinic's environment, meet the staff, and see the equipment in advance. Familiarity can make the actual appointment less daunting.
  • Listen to Positive Stories from Others: Hearing about successful treatments from friends, family, or online communities can provide reassurance and a sense of belonging, knowing others have gone through similar experiences and come out smiling.

Techniques to Overcome Anxiety During Treatment

Even after you've taken steps to ease your fear of orthodontic treatment before your appointment, it's normal to still feel some anxiety as you begin and continue your treatment. 

This section is dedicated to techniques that can help you manage and overcome anxiety during the course of your orthodontic journey:

  • Practice Deep Breathing or Meditation: These techniques can help calm your mind and reduce stress before and during orthodontic appointments. A few minutes of deep breathing or meditation can make a significant difference in your anxiety levels.
  • Use Distraction Methods: Bring headphones to listen to your favorite music, audiobooks, or podcasts during your appointments. Focusing on something enjoyable can distract you from the treatment and help time pass more quickly.
  • Communicate with Your Orthodontist: Keep the lines of communication open during your treatment. If you’re feeling anxious or uncomfortable at any point, let your orthodontist know. They can often adjust their approach or take breaks as needed.
  • Visualize Positive Outcomes: Spend time visualizing the successful completion of your treatment and the beautiful smile you’re working towards. Positive visualization can boost your mood and motivation.
  • Seek Support from Peers: Joining a support group or online community of individuals undergoing orthodontic treatment can provide emotional support and practical advice for managing anxiety.
  • Establish a Comfort Routine: Create a pre-appointment ritual that includes activities that relax you, such as listening to calming music, reading, or walking. A consistent routine can help ease anxiety over time.

Post-Treatment: Managing Anxiety for Future Visits

As you navigate through your orthodontic treatment and start seeing the changes in your smile, it's common to experience a mix of emotions, including relief, excitement, and perhaps a bit of ongoing anxiety about future visits or maintenance. 

Here’s how you can manage any residual fears as you approach the end of your treatment and prepare for any necessary follow-up care:

  • Reflect on Your Journey: Take time to look back on your treatment progress and celebrate the milestones. Recognizing how far you've come can build confidence and reduce anxiety about future dental care.
  • Keep a Positive Dialogue Open with Your Orthodontist: Even after your active treatment ends, maintain communication with your orthodontist. Having a trusted professional to discuss any post-treatment concerns can alleviate worries.
  • Educate Yourself on Retention Phase: Understanding the importance of the retention phase (like wearing a retainer) and what to expect can demystify post-treatment care and ease concerns about the next steps.
  • Schedule Regular Check-ups in Advance: Knowing you have planned visits for routine care can help manage anxiety by making these visits feel like a normal part of your dental hygiene routine.


In conclusion, the journey of orthodontic treatment doesn't have to be a path walked in fear. With the right information, strategies to manage anxiety, and a supportive orthodontic team, you can face your treatment with confidence and ease. 

The goal of any orthodontic treatment is not just to create a beautiful smile but also to improve your overall oral health, which is worth every step of the process. Overcoming the fear of orthodontic treatment is possible with education, communication, and the right care approach.

If you're considering orthodontic treatment and are looking for professional, caring experts in Springfield and Branson, MO, look no further than Sharp Orthodontics. Our team is dedicated to providing the utmost care in our treatments, ensuring that our patients are comfortable and anxiety-free during their visits. 

We understand the concerns that come with orthodontic treatment and are here to support you every step of the way, from initial consultation to the moment you reveal your new smile.

Don’t let fear hold you back from achieving the smile you’ve always wanted. Schedule an appointment with us at Sharp Orthodontics today, and let us guide you through a smooth and reassuring orthodontic journey.

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(417) 888-3030

1524 E Bradford Pkwy, Springfield, MO 65804

(417) 337-8020

203-C Buccaneer Blvd. Branson, MO 65616

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