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DH and I went to the dentist the other day, and we brought our 7.5 month old DD so one of us could be in with the dentist and the other could be in the waiting room with DD. I also took the opportunity to ask our dentist some questions about tooth care for infants, especially since she started getting teeth before 5 months old. While we were signing in, he came out and said hi, and I asked when he's going to want to see her. He took his hand and grabbed her jaw to try to get her to open her mouth, and she struggled with him and started to cry. He became increasingly insistent and perhaps increasingly rough, like he was trying to make her uncomfortable enough that she would open her mouth, which she eventually did after a few seconds, but she wasn't happy about it.<br><br>
While I was in my appointment, I asked about tooth care, and he stressed the importance of the parent brushing the teeth, that the child can't be the one to just do it. I mentioned that I had a crown on one of my baby teeth because I refused to let my parents brush, and I would be sure not to let the same thing happen to my children. He responded saying that with his kids, even if he had to strap them to the floor to do it, he will brush their teeth before they go to bed at night.<br><br>
Just those two incidents are making me a little uncomfortable with him handling my DD's dental care as she grows up. I feel like he could have made a silly face, and she would have smiled at him, and he could have seen her teeth. If that didn't work, I could have gotten her to smile at me. I feel like it happened so fast, and I feel guilty for not stopping him as he was grabbing at her face while she protested. I feel like the comment about strapping kids to the floor to brush their teeth was completely out of line. I kinda think he was joking, but I just get the impression that he would force things amid a child's protests instead of working to give a child, even a tiny baby, as much control as possible over the situation, which is more my parenting style.<br><br>
My DH doesn't seem bothered. At least, he doesn't think it's a big deal. He agrees with me that the dentist would have been better off getting her to smile, and he thinks the comment was inappropriate but just a joke. (He wasn't there for that part.) I'm not sure I ever want to take her back to that dentist again. Am I overreacting? At the very least, I feel like if we go back there, I'm going to have to be on guard to be ready to stop him if he tries anything like that again. I don't want my baby to develop an irrational fear of dentists based on one man who didn't respect her body. Am I blowing this out of proportion? If DH insists that we give him another chance, do you have any ideas of what I could do to be careful?
 

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Two words: pediatric dentist.<br><br>
I wouldn't stand for what you describe, and I really think you want someone <b>dedicated</b> to the particular needs of young children.<br><br>
It's not so much about preventative care as how this person would handle emergency care.<br><br>
nak<br><br>
ETA And you have time to shop around and find one.<br><br>
Emergencies: My dentist recommended the pediatric dentist we go to. He would send his daughter there, if she ever needed anything other than routine care. We had a recent dental emergency where dd1 fell and knocked a tooth back (not out, but back), chipped one, broke a tiny bone in the gum. It's apparently a common thing in little kids. <sigh> Anyway, the dentist took a call at home, met us at his office, at night, within 10 or 15 minutes, and fixed things up. He has such an amazing way with kids that I think dd pretty much stopped being scared when he got there and started talking to her. It is, of course, a relationship built over the course of routine visits...
 

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Depending on your area and insurance, you can't always get a ped dentist I guess just for normal care. We see one and the kids LOVE him! They are always asking if they can go to the dentist, lol. He's been great w/ them. Evan's first appt at 2.5yo was him laying across the dentist and I's laps since he didn't want to be on the chair/table. Liv went this last time just to hang out w/ me while the kids saw him and he didn't even touch her, gave her a little baby toothbrush and that was it. She'll go when she's 2-2.5yo as well.
 

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I agree. Pediatric dentist. DD1 needed some major work done (soft enamel...she now has crowns and they have NOTHING to do with who brushed her teeth btw) and we went to a dentist we knew in our area. Nice guy, very friendly, and DD1 was comfortable around him. Her second appointment was a totaly disaster (she 4.5 years old).<br><br>
The difference in demeanor that I have seen with pediatric dentists and regular ones (ones who have had extensive experience with kids of all ages) is HUGE. There is something to be said about someone who specializes in their field. You need heart surgery? You go to a heart surgeon, right? Same with the dentist IMO.<br><br>
Definitely check with your insurance though.
 

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I found a family dentist for my whole family. He is great with kids but cant do in office sedation only nitrus. Because of that I have to take ds to a pediatric dentist who I do not like (because of the no parents during treatment rule) but he is the only one who can do in office sedation to avoid GA. If you are not comfortable with how he treated your dd then there are others out there who you will probably like better. But dont discount a family dentist out of hand since some of them are great.<br><br>
All the ped. dentists I took ds to in the past when his dental issues came up when his teeth came in where not a good match for my kids or me.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MCatLvrMom2A&X</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14678892"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">All the ped. dentists I took ds to in the past when his dental issues came up when his teeth came in where not a good match for my kids or me.</div>
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Good point. Definitely look at all your options OP. The former dentist wasn't able to do in office sedation either. The pediatric one has in office options AND GA options at 2 different surgical centers. Definitely make sure you ask around to see what is available should certain things arise.
 

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I would have been comfortable taking dd to my dentist, because he's a good guy. But since he specifically recommended someone else, I went with that. Didn't shop around--the big selling points for me were that the office was low key (apparently some ped dentist's offices have all kinds of bells and whistles and video) and an anecdote mine told me: that this guy was so amazing with kids that he'd seen him sit a kid with a mouthful of broken teeth on his lap and totally calm him down as he worked on the injuries. In the routine checkups and the one session with fillings we've had before the incident, I could see that quality in him.<br><br>
But getting back to the OP, I've been thinking about this today and realize that it's not as much ped dentist vs family dentist as finding someone that you as the parent totally trust.
 

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I wouldn't feel comfortable with that at all. If he doesn't have the patience or creativity to come up with a simpler way to get a glimpse of an INFANT'S few teeth, I can't even imagine what he'd do if she ever needed treatment. That's a great way to set her up for a lifelong anxiety about dentists.<br><br>
I'd also be seeking out a pediatric dentist.
 
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