A little rant...tell me if I'm crazy!

I took my daughter to the dentist today for her check up.  I've taken her every 6 months for her check up since she was 2...until now.  She was supposed to have gone in February, but I was a slacker and didn't want to put up with the fight of going to the dentist.  I don't know why, but she is scared to death to go to the dentist and will completely freak out.  Today was no exception. 

A little backstory...I started taking her to "My Kids' Dentist" when she was 2.  The first time, we saw Dentist #1.  He was able to look at her teeth with her crying, but did no more.  6 months later, took her back and saw Dentist #2.  I really liked him and he was calm and gentle and wasn't going to push anything.  Perfect.  6 months later, took her back and saw Dentist #3.  Dentist #2 had moved to San Francisco.  I was beginning to see the pattern of their dentists.  Anyway, Dentist #3 was a female and she was damned and determined to clean my daughter's teeth.  I was holding her down with the doctor's armpit in my face so they could clean.  Before you tell me I should have made them stop, it all happened so fast and I was in shock.  It's a big regret of mine. 

I stopped taking her there since they had so many different dentists.  When I was at my dentist, I asked them if they knew a good kid dentist.  They gave me the name of the one I am going now with her.  I walked down to the office, met with the dentist, expressed my fears and concerns and the past visits.  I made an appt. and took my daughter.  Tears, refusing to open her mouth for them to look...you get the picture.  They gave her a new toothbrush kit with toothpaste and floss and a sticker and we left.  Went back 6 months later...same thing.  This time, the dentist told me they would have to sedate her to check her teeth.  Um, no I don't think so.  In October, hubby had to take her in since she hit her front teeth on the ground and knocked them a bit loose.  They managed to get x-rays of the front teeth and she was fine. 

Fast-forward to today.  We have been talking up the dentist like a madman.  My daughter was excited to go in and see the dog (they have a dog there to help with nerves) and play the computer games.  She knew they were going to take pictures of her teeth, clean them and make them tickle and then she would be done and would get a new toothbrush and a balloon as well as a special dinner tonight with a toy (Happy Meal) and ice cream.  What girl wouldn't want all that?  Mine, obviously! 

We went to the back...and then the tears started.  She wouldn't let them take x-rays, though we did sit in the chair together.  We then moved to the exam chair, with me sitting there with her and she was on my lap.  It's 100* today and the last thing I wanted was my daughter on my lap, but you do what you gotta do.  She was crying, but she said the hygenist could clean her teeth.  But, the hygenist refused since she was crying.  We went and sat back on the couch and waiting.  Then the poo hit the fan!

The dentist came in (my appt. was @ 1pm, she came in at 1:30 from lunch...WTH?) and told me I had to leave.  Um, NO!  I told my daughter I would be with her the whole time and I would never leave her back there with just them.  There would be no way they could keep her down without having to sit on her.  Then, the dentist got all over me about how I was allowing her to behave this way and I need to help her out and not let my daughter control the situation.  Um, she is scared to death (she kept saying "Mommy, I'm scared") and I am not abandoning her.  I explained to the dentist how we had been talking about it and she told me all that they were going to do to her teeth and all the things she would get if she was a good girl.  Then the dentist told me it wasn't good enough and I needed to calm her down or we would have to come back another day.  I was furious and ready to cry, but I held it together.  The dentist was able to look at her teeth, put on some flouride and then again tell me that she can't help my daughter since she can't clean her teeth.  Well, too bad!  That's your job.  And then she had the nerve to tell me that maybe my hubby should bring her in as maybe he could do a better job of dealing with my daughter.  WTH? 

We left the office with my daughter crying the whole way to the car.  I called hubby to tell him no surprise dinner and all the other list of things she would have gotten.  I was still very upset and then remembered that they forgot to give me the stupid form I need for Kindergarten.  So, back to the office we went.  This time my daughter was calm since we didn't have to see anyone.  They want us back every 3 months for flouride, but I need to find a new dentist.  The one we see now is supposed to be really good with kids, but she seemed to lost it today.  And, I don't want to sedate my daughter. 

I know my daughter has issues with strangers and anxiety when it comes to new situations.  Even though we've been to this dentist before, it's once every 6 months.  It's still a relatively new thing for her.  Any advice?  Should I stay and chaulk it up to a bad day?  Look elsewhere?  Drive tonight?  Please help!  Thanks!


  1. woowzers! Poor kid and mommy...i feel fortunate to have the dentist I have for my son...I am sure since he was SO easy that my daughter will NOT be.
    I think she will remember the BAD DAY if you do stay. THEY should be helping calm her...she is afraid of them not you! If it was me I would try to find another pediatric dentist...take her SOON too.

  2. Sorry you had such a hard time. Maybe as she gets older things will get easier. I saw you comment on my blog and came to take a look. I'm going to follow you!

  3. I can't believe you were treated that way! First of all the dentist was late, then asked you to leave your child (I would never!), and then gave you a lecture! I would totally look for another dentist. It's not as if a child being afraid of the dentist is totally uncommon. Can't they think of a better treatment then sedation? I'm so sorry that happened to you and your daughter. Hopefully the dentist won't be scary for much longer.

    On a different note - my husband is driving down to CA right now for an interview next week....but we've already signed our contracts here. This could get messy!

  4. Call ahead to take a tour of a peds dentist and watch another child have his or her teeth cleaned.
    I would mention that a cavity left untreated can cause emergency dentist trips leaving you with no choices or control of the situation. Laughing gas is not as bad as you fear for a cleaning. I recently went through an abscessed tooth with my son. It was no fun for him and he has been to the dentist every six months for years.

  5. Where do you live in California? I am married to a dentist! It is common policy to ask a parent to wait in another room but this office is not for you. Maybe I can help you. Anyhow you can reach me at Imfranniek@gmail.com and my blog is kindergarten crayons. I forgot to mention I live in southern ca.
    Fran Kramer

  6. Clearly, there are serious lapses in your dentist's actions. I think you better let your kid slowly adjust to it. In time, she will understand that dental health is very important. It would also be good to find a more child-friendly dentist.