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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just made my first appt. for the Ped. dentist for my DD and they said that one of their policies was that when they turn three the children go back by themselves and same with any sort of opp. work they have to do. Is this normal? And since I'm asking what can I expect during the first appt.? She is 18 months, hates doctors, brushing teeth, and has passing out episodes do to being upset!
 

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I've never cared about policy. You're the parent, you go back. I would never trust somone alone with my 3 year old like that.
 

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My SIl the dental hygenist says there are such policies. However, there are always exceptions to policies. I would ask nicely but firmly to be allowed in the back.
 

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My understanding of these policies is that they feel because children are receptive to parent emotions, parents are unconsciously transferring their negative feelings about dentistry to their child. Also, I'd imagine, some parents have a hard time with the work their little ones endure and this makes a procedure much more stressful to all involved.<br><br>
That said, I will be looking for a ped. dentist soon and one of the things I'd like is for them to not have this kind of policy. Dh or I aren't comfortable with leaving our dc alone.
 

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Would you let your 3 y/o go back in the pediatrician's office all by herself? Would you let your 3 y/o go back in the chiropractor's office all by herself?<br><br>
Food for thought. I wouldn't. And I wouldn't let my 3 y/o go back in the dentist's office alone, either. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Do what makes you comfortable; you are the mama, and you don't have to be separated from your child unless you feel it is acceptable.
 

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I would never use a dentist with that policy. I go back with my kids until they prefer to have me stay in the waiting room. I'm with my 11yo and my 5yo for every cleaning, cavity filling, tooth pulling, etc. My oldest doesn't care if I go with her or not, so sometimes I stay in the waiting room with the other two.
 

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We saw a ped dentist for dd's first appointment last year and it did not go well. (Despite reading lots of books about it, prepping her by talking about the dentist, etc...etc... we tried, really we did.)<br><br>
I was with dd but she started crying and the dentist and 2 assistants suggested that many children calm down if their parent waits outside the door. I am sorry that I did it. She was only alone for 5 minutes but I felt terrible about it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I WISH I had left and said, "we'll try another time" (unfortunately I had to book several months in advance and that was part of the pressure I felt). I won't be going back to that office and I certainly won't leave her next time.<br><br>
My only advice for your first appointment is to have a plan for what you'll do if your dd really <b>will not</b> let the dentist look in her mouth. It will depend on your family history, her teeth, etc... just have a plan ahead of time so you don't feel pressured by the dental staff.
 

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I absolutely would not go to a dentist with that policy. No way would I send my kid(s) without me into a dentist/doctor/whatever's exam room.
 

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I am a dentist and I can say that yes, it is common, but no, it is not universal. I personally would not let my child go back alone until he was old enough to be the one that requested it, and I do not ask parents to do so. Although some parents (probably not anyone who would be here) make you WANT to kick them out. I mean, I actually have parents who threaten to spank their fearful kids or threaten them with "extra shots", and I want to kick them to the street. Honestly, most kids do about the same with or without their parents (older kids, NOT 3 year olds). Some absolutely NEED their parents, and the few whose parents are more of a problem are the ones that spark those policies. Why they make a policy based on a minority baffles me, but many pediatric dentists do.
 

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NO WAY, cancel the appt. Unnaceptable! I heard of a dentist once with this same policy that yanked a kids tooth SANS NOVACAINE! Run from this dentist.
 

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I would not allow my three year old to go into an exam room alone, no way. Our pediatric dentist has a policy that no other children can go back with them, I havent figured out how I''ll manage that yet (I was pg at her first appointment) Especially since they are now in a different town. My DD did surprisingly well, and didn't fuss at all, he explained the whole process to her. They have a policy that the parent doesn't ask questions during the process, he will explain everything to the parent afterwards, but during the exam he is talking to the child.
 

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That's insane! I see 10 year olds in back with their parents at ds's dentist. A dentist with that policy doesn't seem like the type to be receptive to the kid's needs and feelings at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks so much for the comments. I knew something about it didn't sit right with me - that whole mama instinct thing (you think I'd know by know <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> ) All your comments comfirmed what I was already feeling! My DH thought I was crazy and we even "had some words" about it because he thought that at 3 they should be able to go in themselves but I couldn't explain what I was feeling - my brain was just saying, "ALL WRONG!! Everything about it!!" Anyway, thanks again!
 

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Yeah. I have to agree with pretty much everyone else. Maybe I'm just paranoid, but I am not leaving my toddler in any room alone with adults who are strangers.
 

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I guess I'll be the lone voice of dissent and say it depends on the kid. I might not let my child go all the way to the back alone but I would have felt fine stepping out of the room when my ds was 3 because he was a relaxed and groovy kid. With my dd (who is 3 now) I would never in a trillion years consent to even letting her go around a corner without me because I know she will go insane instantly.<br><br>
So, I would question the policy if I felt I needed to and if they were rigid with it I would find another dentist. But, if I had the kind of kid who might be down with handling it on their own I would give it a try at least once.
 

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I had made an appt with a ped dentist because my son absolutely refused to see our family dentist. When they told me I couldn't go back, I was very unsure of whether we would keep the appointment. In the end, I just did not feel comfortable because I know my son and there was no way he would have gone back there alone without screaming. I couldn't do that to him so I cancelled the appointment. 3 months later he let our family dentist check his teeth and we were right there with him. It was a great experience and I am really glad I listened to my gut.
 

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I wouldn't let my child go in alone that young. Not til at least 6 or 7, if then. I remember going in by myself at 5-7, as I wasn't scared or anything. However, my mom didn't want me to have flouride, and they gave it to me anyway. I think the dentist thought my mom said no b/c of money, so he did it for free. If he'd known the reason, he wouldn't have done it. I remember feeling guilty for not stopping him, though.<br><br>
Now if only I could make my mom go with me now! Dentists scare me, so I just refuse to go.
 

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My son is almost 3, and he's been to the dentist twice. The first time, I laid in the chair and he laid on me and let the hygenist "count his teeth". She even got a bit of polishing in there (getting his gray lines off). That was at age 2. I didn't like how the dentist himself interacted with my son though - pulling him off my lap and into his without letting my son get to know him first, and then he said stupid stuff like my son needed to start daycare in the fall and needed to wean off breastfeeding, etc, etc. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: The daycare comment was because my son cried when he took him away from me. No, my son doesn't need daycare. I switched DS to a family practice whose dentist used to be a ped dentist. He's also the team dentist for our local university hockey team, and DS LOVES hockey. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> This dentist was great with my DS, and he had me sit facing the dentist, then had DS sit in my lap and lean his head back into the dentist's lap. This worked great. DS didn't want to sit in the chair himself, and the dentist didn't make him. The hygenist held DS#2, who was about 3 months old at the time and NOT wanting to sit in the infant carseat any longer. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Next time, I'll have my mom come along and hold DS#2.<br><br>
Anyway, I would not feel comfortable with leaving my 3 year old alone with the dentist, just because I know that my 3 year old still needs me in there. I can see where some parents might be a problem being in there, but I don't see a reason for a universal policy at all. And my son loves brushing his teeth and he's only had good experiences with the dentist so far, but he still needs me there. The dentist is a stranger to him, as he only sees him once every 6 months. I don't typically leave my child with a stranger.
 
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