45 answers

Help Getting Through My Son's First Dentist Appointment

I'm taking my son tomorrow for his first dentist appointment and I'm so nervous. When I called to schedule his appointment the lady on the phone explained to me that they would take him back to the exam room and complete his initial exam and cleaning without allowing me back there. I called my mom to see if that was a normal practice and she wasn't sure. He's only 4 years old and has never been before and I think it's a little unusual that I'm not allowed back with him. I was wondering if anyone else's dentist goes along with this practice. That is, not allowing the mother back while the child is getting their exam. Thanks.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Well...we just got back and everything went fine. On the way to the office I explained to my son that this Dr. was going to count his teeth and make them shine and he got really excited. When I got to the office I explained my nervousness about him going alone so the hygenist came out to speak with me. She assured me that he would be fine, as all their patients are and if there were any problems they wouldn't hesitate to come get me. She took Mitchell's hand and led him back. When he came out 20 minutes later, he was smiling super big and showing off his nice shiny teeth. They were able to do his exam, cleaning and get a full set of x-rays, he did phenomenal. Even when the Dr. came back out to speak with me, Mitchell looked up at him and opened his mouth again. I'm very happy with the experience and even more happy with my son. He's growing up and I need to let him. Thank you everyone for your advice.

Featured Answers

Hi J. - My 3.5 year old just went to his 1st appt...I was told I could go back the first time only and then not again. When I was a kid - my mom didn't go back with me...my son didn't have a problem with any of it. Pediatric dentists are so good now - toys and cool things for kids to make the experience wonderful. GOOD LUCK! If you want to go back - just tell the dentist that's a deal-breaker for you and insist. If he/she won't allow - then find another dentist. :-)

That is unusual.When I was younger Mom went back with me until I told her I was okay without her. Now I do the same with my children. Every dentist I know usually allows at least one parent back with the child.

Hi, yes that is normal. My mom works for a detist office and has my whole life. She said something about they don't let the parents back (even if they are family, like me). They said the kids do better when the parents aren't there and are more willing to let the dentist do what they need then if the parents are there. The parents are the ones that are more worried about it then the kids. Comes with being a mom I guess. But yes that is normal practice and I wouldn't worry about it, he'll do just fine!

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I just took my 4 year old daughter to the dentist 2 days ago for her regular check-up. She has been going since she was 2 and they won't let me back with her either. This time she was clinging to my leg and wanted me to go back with her I told her I would be right here waiting for her after she got her prizes and the hygentist talked to her and took her hand and she was ok I always have her bring a stuffed animal to sit with her in the chair and watch her get her teeth cleaned. When she came back 15 minutes later she was all smiles and had her new prizes and stickers. I think mothers need to learn to let go at some point She has her first day of school next week and she doesn't want me to leave her there either. They will be fine and they learn we can't always be with them, but we will always be waiting for them.

1 mom found this helpful

If i were u, I wouldnt allow them to do it without u. I have always been welcome in the back w/ both of my daughters. My 11 yr old just started going in the back by herself and i still go in there after a little bit. Your child is only 4 & its his first time.....if they cant accept that u want to go back there w/ him, then take him elsewhere.

I've never taken my kids to the dentist, however, a friend of mine in Tennessee, told me that they did the same thing with her daughter who was 3 1/2 at the time. The reason is that kids usually make more of a fuss for their parents than for other people. They usually act better without their parents present. This particular dentist had fun things for the kids to do...a movie going, toys, etc...totally kid friendly and my friends daughter enjoyed her time at the dentist. :) That's what I know...all second hand info. :)

I am a hygienist and my husband is a dentist. We own the practice that we work at but have worked at a few other places before buying in. That is definitely the usual routine for dental visits. I have no problems with this usually. We introduce the mirror and the tooth tickler and also mr thirsty. I have movies I can play in my room and a stuffed animal "Doogan" that has teeth for us to practice brushing with. I try to make it a fun appointment so the kids want to come back. If for any reason they are hesitant I am usually able to calmly talk them through the appointment and if we only get a few teeth polished well than that's ok. The reasoning behind the parent not coming back is because the kids almost always behave much better when they come back alone. I am a parent and wouldn't understand this either but since I am on the other side of the fence too I see both sides. I personally will let any parent come back with their child it's just not recommended if you feel comfortable with that. The DDS will usually have the parent come back after the treatment is completed so he can talk with you (if the child needs any fillings) but certainly if you insist on coming back to the treatment room that's ok also. The child focuses on their parents instead of on the providers that's really all it comes down too. The kids usually like the independence of being a "big" girl or boy. Hope this helps.....

I have four kids (ages 5, 6, 7, 9) and they all started going to the dentist at about age 2 and I always went back with them. Once the kids got about age 5 I asked them if they wanted me to go back with them and sometimes they do and sometimes they don't - I let them decide.

J.,
This is normal practice for a pediatric dentist. I had to take my daughter to a pediatric dentist to have some teeth pulled and they wouldn't let me back there. It turned out fine, but it was pretty nerve wrecking. I take my children to my regular dentist for their cleanings and they let me back there to sit with them.
M.

That is unusual.When I was younger Mom went back with me until I told her I was okay without her. Now I do the same with my children. Every dentist I know usually allows at least one parent back with the child.

Are you going to a pediatric dentist? I just went for my 1st appt with my 2 and 3 year old. I was allowed to go back but they did both kids at the same time so I stayed with my 2 year old. My 3 year old was fine by himself. I think sometimes they are better without us but I would also be nervous about not being allowed back. I prepared my kids by explaining what would happen and practicing opening their mouth for the dentist. I'd have them lay back and show them how the dentist would clean their teeth etc. I went to a pediatric dentist and they also showed them a movie showing them what would happen. They had a great time and they thought it was awesome. You could always see how he does without you or find another dentist that will allow you to go back. the 1st time can set the precendent for further visits so you really want it to go well. maybe you should consider cancelling and finding somewhere you are more comfortable with.
good luck!!!!

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