Until last week my 10 yr old daughter had no problems with the dentist. She isn’t afraid of the dentist at all. I have taught her to floss and brush her teeth well. She actually stays on top of it all without my asking her to do so. Last week at her regular exam and checkup the hygienist checked for cavities and the probe stuck in one of the bottom left molar teeth. My daughter started to get this really concerned look on her face. During the rest of the appointment with the hygienist she got really quiet. The hygienist told my daughter that the dentist would make the final decision on whether or not a cavity was developing. When the dentist came in to check her teeth checkup, my daughter seemed better, but still a little anxious. The dentist did a thorough examination and his probe got stuck on the same tooth that the hygienist’s did. Without the dentist saying anything my daughter started crying and shaking uncontrollably. We have never scolded her about her teeth or threatened her about not getting cavities. I am not sure where all of this is coming from. Maybe it’s hormonal and a sign that her cycle might be coming early in life. For the life of me I can’t think of any trigger. The dentist was very kind, but said that the cavity needs to be filled. My daughter has wept on and off since then and she is dreading the appointment. The dentist looked to me for an answer, but I have no clue. I am wondering if a pediatric dentist might have a different approach with her. In the past my daughter has insisted that she wants to go to the same dentist that I do. He is a good family dentist but I am not sure what to do. I have spoken to my daughter about the reason for her reaction, but she doesn’t seem to understand it herself. Your thoughts? I really appreciate the advice. Lydia
Lydia – If your daughter’s anxiety is a reason for concern continues, a pediatric dental appointment might be appropriate. At 10 years old, she is still quite young. Pediatric dentists are familiar with child behavior at different stages and have learned how to adjust, talk with children about their oral health issues, and ensure they are comfortable.
You can have a consultation with one or two pediatric dentists. Take your daughter to the office with you to observe her reaction to the office environment, dentist, and staff. Although she might think she prefers your dentist, her response may show that another office is best for her.
It’s good that you are thinking about the emotional aspect of her oral health. If things don’t improve with a new dentist, she can always return to your dentist.
This post is sponsored by Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.