This post is about Children fearing dentist, or more specifically, my daughter fearing the dentist. Remember my post about my daughter visiting the dentist recently?
Well, this is a follow up post.
You see, after the initial appointment in Kuching which went smoothly, the second one didn’t go as well.
My daughter however was slightly scared when the second appointment happened and fear showed as I led her into the dental clinic.
THE DENTAL PROBLEMS
You see, the dentist detected there was three issues with her teeth during her first visit.
The first problem involved her two front teeth. They were chipping away due to decay. The dentist suggested we did nothing for these as the two front teeth should go soon for the stronger permanent teeth.
The second problem involved the right molar which we already knew about. About half of her first molar is gone and it was the pain my daughter complained about.
According to the dentist, since its not a cavity, my daughter should just keep it clean until it comes off. This should happen in a couple of years. However, if required, he may need to do a root canal.
The third problem involved the first molar on the left. This had a cavity and needed to be patched up before it got any worst.
That said, the second dental appointment for my daughter was to fill the cavity she had.
All that was needed was to clear the cavity and fill it up.
I could sense my daughter was afraid and tried to calm her down.
She calmed down a bit and sat on the dental chair as she was required to do.
However, as the dentist started cleaning her teeth, she started crying and said the treatment hurt.
I tried to persuade her to continue by throwing in bribes like going to the water park, candy, a visit to the playground and so on if she continued the treatment.
However, she refused and continued to cry. Eventually, I told her that she would not be able to use her pacifier, drink from her milk bottle and eat sweets if she didn’t continue to fix her teeth because her teeth might hurt more. She would also need to brush her teeth frequently. The dentist also seconded my request.
Surprisingly, my daughter agreed to all the terms in exchange of stopping the treatment.
Eventually the dentist called off the procedure as well and said “we cannot do anything if she is uncooperative”.
I was disappointed because I knew this meant she might have a toothache again. However, dental procedures can’t be forced.
We left the dentist without being charged for the incomplete procedure.
AFTER A FEW DAYS
My daughter held on to her promises as it came into full force after we left the dentist.
Today, my daughter doesn’t look for her pacifier and sleeps without it. She doesn’t ask for sweets and knows she needs to brush after eating and before going to bed.
Nonetheless, after a few days, my daughter started waking up at night crying again.
She wouldn’t admit her teeth is painful to me, but I knew. Her mom confirmed she woke up because her teeth hurt.
I tried to persuade her for another trip to the dentist, but she has so far declined all.
ADDRESSING CHILDREN FEARING DENTIST
So here’s the problem – we know the dentist needs to fix her teeth, but how do I get a 4 year old to go?
Once there, how do I get her to cooperate?
My biggest worry is that if she doesn’t get her teeth fixed, it will lead to fever and more serious issues may crop up.
That said, if you are a parent, or dentist, do suggest what I can do.
I do look forward to your suggestions.