DD1 is normally mild-mannered and good at following the rules- but not when it comes to the dentist!
She is so good about teethbrushing that I was shocked at her 1st dds appt 6 months ago. She barely let them into her mouth. (they saw enough to know she was cavity-free, but didn't really get to do the cleaning). DD2, otoh, (who is normally a maniac when I try to brush her teeth) was awesome (shared appt).
We've talked about dd1's dentist issues since (it doesn't hurt, you need to be good, the ladies are nice, you can watch a cartoon while they look in your mouth, they give you a gift after when you're good, Santa's watching etc), but I never really made much headway in convincing her.
Fast forward to today, when DH took them to the dds b/c I'm sick. Apparently, dd1 was totally hysterical, never made it into the chair and actually had to be brought outside b/c she was so out of control. Honestly, I can't even imagine it, b/c it's so out of character. DH (who admittedly is prone to exaggeration) claims the office had never seen anything so bad.
Anyone btdt? Suggestions?
Yeah...she's the age of stubborn and fearful, and they looked last time and saw no cavities. Brush well, make sure she is getting fluoride (probably from your water, you can get drops from the doctor if not), and let her try again in 6-12 months. It is a phase that will likely pass if you don't make a big deal about it for a while. Good luck!
This happened recently with my 3 yo. She just refused to open her mouth at all for her checkup. I was very surprised because she's good with letting us brush and she usually really likes the doctor (and she likes her dentist, who is a mom to littles herself). Her dentist suggested a book - it's a Dora book, i can't remember the exact title but something like "dora goes to the dentist." I was hesitant to get it for her because she hasn't been introduced to Dora or those kinds of characters yet, but I saw that there weren't any other better suggestions online so I bit the bullet. We read the book very often - a few times per week - for the next month. When her older sister went for her checkup, I took Noe in the room with us to have her watch. After it was over, Noe asked to get in the chair and have her own checkup! She opened her mouth wide. I think it was the combo of the book and watching her sister have it done that got her over the fear. Maybe you could have her watch you or your dh get a checkup or cleaning (or see part of it)?
-- mom to DD1 1/98 and DD2 10/09
My DD does pretty good at the dentist, even though she had a couple traumatic first appts-- she had a huge eruption cyst in a molar that her old pedi and another dentist told me needed to be cut open. Not the case, didn't happen, it resolved on it own. But those appts left her a bit shaken.
Before I took her for an official first cavity check & cleaning, I found several kid videos for her to watch on Youtube. Some of them are about brushing- or what happens when you don't brush, some of them were adults with stuffed animals showing what happened during a dentist appt. I think out of all of them the one she enjoyed the most was called "Chippy goes to the dentist" or something similar. Chippy doesn't think it's important to brush, eats candy, and gets a toothache. Then he has to go to the dentist to get it fixed. It's nothing traumatic, he enjoys the visit, and leaves feeling much better vowing to brush and floss more often.
I would also recommend a children's dentist if that's not where she's been going. And she may need to go somewhere other than the current place since she's already had issues there. Maybe there's something about that specific office that triggers her. A change of office could be a completely different experience.
Oh and I don't know your office's policy on parents going back in the room with their kids, but there are two kids dentists close by- one lets you go back with your child, the other takes them back by them self and makes you wait in the waiting room. Well my daughter would never go by herself. Which of those 2 offices we went to was a no-brainer for us. So if your current dentist makes parents stay in the waiting room, I would definitely shop around for another dentist.
I also let my DD know we will go at her pace, I sit next to the chair and hold her hand or keep my hand on her leg, I always warn the hygienist that she has a strong gag reflex (makes x-rays hard!), and we always set the goal at the beginning of the appt to be extra cooperative so she can earn double coins (for the prize machine out front).
Last edited by MomOfAnOnly; 12-07-2012 at 12:20 PM.
I'm so sorry to hear this, and I think you've already gotten some good advice. My only additional suggestions would be for just the two of you to go next time, and see if she can sit on your lap in the chair. And I agree, a pediatric dentist is absolutely key. I hope it was a fluke!
My DS does pretty well at the dentist. He did struggle at his second appointment with opening his mouth, but he did really well this week. We actually both went in. He sat and watched me get my teeth cleaned, so he knew what was going to be expected, and how easy it was. I think that helped him this time around. Maybe she can watch you the next time? We don't go to a pediatric dentist since he lost a tooth before we had chosen one, and I just brought him to mine. They were great with him, so I kept bringing him there. Since your LO does have issues with her current one, Id definitely switch.
I love these suggestions and the different perspectives.
I am psyched to learn that there is a Dora book out there- b/c DD1 and DD2 both have a special love for her (they regularly pretend play w/ 1 being Dora and the other Botas (boots)).
I also think it's a great idea for us to go some place new - if for no other reason than that dd1 might be embarassed to go back to the scene of "the incident."
It's a nice pedi dds place- great kid designs, really lovely staff,and I sat in the chair w/ them last time. I know of another location (they have a # of offices) that also came highly recommended- so we could go there (assuming they'd take us!). I should also probably make it a single appt (and not be sick on the day), so she can have my undivided support.
I know this is fear and not a behavior issue, so I think part of the problem was that I was trying to get her to behave instead of trying to eradicate the fear. Thanks for helping me to think about how to help her with this
Cody does fine at the Dentist. Is there a Kool Smiles near you? They have toys for kids afterward and a place for them to play while they wait in the waiting room. However, he gives me a fight if I help get the spots he misses. He insists on brushing his teeth by himself without my help. He fights me to floss as well. So... no help there.
Ds had a lot of problems his first visit too so he laid his head on my lap, which seemed to help.