47 answers

Mean Dentist?

Last year, we took our 4 year old to the dentist for a check up. I think it has been her 2nd time going. She was very nervous about going. The time before she had also been nervous and scared and cried. Alot of kids are scared, right? The first timw we took her, they pretty much counted her teeth only. They ended up giving her a little goody bag with a sticker and floss and a princess toothbrush. Let me also add that we have gone to this dentist forever - since I was a kid - my whole family has. I am 33 now. On her 2nd trip, she was once again VERY nervous and didn't want the nurse cleaning her teeth let alone even couting them. I think they eventually managed to get them counted. Well, after my husband and other daughter were finished getting their teeth cleaned, we were getting ready to leave and I asked where the new toothbrush was for my 4 year old. The nurse said she didn't get one because she didn't get her her teeth cleaned. I was like WTH! She got one last time. I wasn't going to put up a fight - I left.
I went home and called my mom to tell her what happened. She was furious. We had gone to this denitst for many years. She actually had an appt with him the following Monday and said she would get my daughter her toothbrush. Well, my mom went to her appt and asked the dentist for the toothbrush. He said she doesn't get one. My mom said "why not?" He said because she had "bad behavior." What???? Bad behavior??? A 4 year old is afraid at the dentist and cries and you call that bad behavior? My mom let him have it. He ended up walking away from her. In the end, my mom walked out with a toothbrush.
But, what I want to know, do you think we are wrong for this? I know you shouldn't give children things when they are being bad, but my child was afraid. Not being bad. My mom doesn't want to see this dentist again. I need to go because I need a check up.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Wow...I figured I would get some negative response about the toothbrush...the whole point was the dentist saying she had "bad behavior". She didn't go in there yelling and demanding for a toothbrush. She asked nicely but when he said the bad behavior thing, that is when she got mad. I don't think as a dentist he should have acted that way. He should be trying to provide a more pleasant environment for a scared child. But, I think I will go along with the other moms who suggested a pediatric dentist. Maybe this one just is getting old and doesn't like kids anymore. The only reason we have stuck with him is because we have gone there since we were kids. Oh well...

Featured Answers

It sounds like you got upset over a 99 cent toothbrush. If you aren't happy with the care the find a ped dentist.

5 moms found this helpful

Find a good pediatric dentist. You need one who specializes in children and knows how to treat them. This dentist doesn't have a clue!

4 moms found this helpful

Honestly I would go to a new dentist, which is what a lot of other mom's have said in here. My reason is that when I was little I had an older dentist who seemed to like to drill into teeth. Everytime we went to the dentist he told my mother that I had 2-3 cavities, and then made a second appointment and started drilling which was always extremely painful for me. Come to find out later that most of the pain was because I was allergic to his gloves, and he never noticed (or seemed to care). Eventually my mom decided enough was enough and switched dentists, and I didn't have another cavity until I was in my mid 20's. Find one that understands that kids are kids! Things scare them. It may not scare them the next time, but it may take some time for them to be comfortable.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I hate to sound harsh, really I do... but if I were your mom I would not want to see the dentist again either... I would be too embarrassed!

What is the big deal over the toothbrush? I don't think I would have even ASKED about it. But if I HAD, I would have dropped it when they said she didn't get her teeth cleaned. Maybe they gave her one the first time to make the experience more fun for her... but I am pretty sure that most dentists don't just give toothbrushes away without a cleaning. Maybe... but SO WHAT either way?

If your mom wanted to get your daughter a toothbrush, she could've gone to Walmart, not started in on your family dentist. Good grief. Aren't there bigger things to worry about?

Now that both you and your mom are so riled up over this whole thing, I wouldn't expect your daughter to have ANY interest in going to ANY dentist. She is getting seriously bad vibes from you about the dentist, whether or not you realize it, and she will associate those vibes with the DENTIST.. not with any behavior on anybody's part. It will all be part of the "dentist experience" for her. Sorry to hear that.
My kids both LOVE the dentist. They get excited about it.. and it isn't b/c of a toothbrush. He's just a goofy guy who likes to razz them and they love every minute of it.

13 moms found this helpful

Let me get this right.

Your mom got all mama grizzly on the dentist because your 4 year old didn't get a toothbrush? That's a little over the top.

Who was more upset over not getting the toothbrush? You, your mom, or your daughter? If it was you or your mom, then you really need to get over it. If it was your daughter then this is a great opportunity to let your daughter know that in order to get her new toothbrush she needs to do what is needed to get a new toothbrush: let them count her teeth and clean them. I'm not saying she wasn't behaving. But, when you go to the dentist, you get a cleaning and then when you're done you get the toothbrush and that's not what she did so she shouldn't be "rewarded" for a behavior she wasn't able to do.

11 moms found this helpful

It sure seems like a big deal is being made over a silly toothbrush. It doesn't sound like they were particularly mean, but perhaps just really not equipped or appropriate for small children.

I certainly get your point, you daughter was scared. Have you considered a pediatric dentist office? Trust me when I say there is a WORLD of difference between a pediatric dental office and a family dentist.

7 moms found this helpful

Find a pediatric dentist - this is rediculous behavior from a professional. He should have been taught how to deal with children if this is a family practice, and to expect young children to be afraid and uncooperative. My two year old cries at the dentist too, and you know what? They give her a balloon, a duck for the bath, a toothbrush, floss, stickers, and a coin to use in their toy machine... EVERY TIME. you know why? So that she will want to come back! and she will be anticipating all these wonderful things every time we go so that it gets less and less scary, and more and more fun! I would cancel my own check up and find a new dentist ASAP. Two trips to the dentist doesn't make your daughter a pro, she's probably going to be nervous about it for years - I know grown ups who won't go because they're still scared at 50 years old of the dentist! Our pediatric dentist also has a waiting room with video games, rocking horses, Disney channel on the TV, a bead maze, a toddler area, and kids magazines. When you get back behind the doors every chair has a TV on the ceiling with the child's choice of movie with earphones to block out the noises of the cleaning machines, they get sunglasses so the light doesn't blind them, they call their X-ray machine a "space ship", and there are balloons lined up just waiting for the child to get finished. My son, who is very shy and nervous by nature (to the point of crying for a month being dropped off at Kindergarten), LOVES going to the dentist and has no problem opening wide for a total stranger! Yes, this dentist was mean, and NO you shouldn't give him any more business, and make sure to tell him why and that you'll be sure to tell all your friends about his uncalled for behavior.

6 moms found this helpful

Sounds like you and mom way overreacted. Honestly why should she have been rewarded for not cooperating? I know the dentist can be a bit scary, but its not as traumatizing as you make it out to be. My 4 year old was nervous, but we were able to overcome that by not feeding into the drama, which it sounds like you did. I can't believe you and mom actually went off on the dentist over a toothbrush! Sorry, but your behavior was bad too, I think you owe that man and his nurse an apology.

6 moms found this helpful

I'd have to side with the dentist on this one - although he should not have referred to her behavior as "bad". The first time, this behavior can be expected from a little one and he/she may still get the "goody bag" treatment as a way of showing them how it's done and give them something to maybe look forward to for the next appt. However, (IMO) if the next time, they still do not allow an actual appt to take place, then they should not get the rewards. Although she was "scared" and not "bad", the behavior should not be rewarded in anyway. It's like saying that it's ok to be scared of the dentist - and it's not ok........
And I think that no matter who was right or wrong, it's never a good idea to verbally "let someone have it" just to get what you want.
So, I would either figure out a way to make her comfortable at this dentist, or find a new one. Why is she so afraid?

5 moms found this helpful

It sounds like you got upset over a 99 cent toothbrush. If you aren't happy with the care the find a ped dentist.

5 moms found this helpful

Find a good pediatric dentist. You need one who specializes in children and knows how to treat them. This dentist doesn't have a clue!

4 moms found this helpful

Actually my son has never been afraid of the dentist. It's a learned behavior. His first few visit to the dentist were just to watch what they did for me. They explained what they were doing and even let him play with the chair controls while I was in it for a short while. (He really LOVED that!). When he started losing baby teeth, it was time to start up regular check-ups. The first few official times I sat with him and watched what they did for him. It was easy, he was calm and I was right there. If he didn't understand what the dentist asked him to do, I could explain it to him. After the first few times, he never needed me in the room anymore and we could schedule appointments at the same time with different hygienists and get out of the office a little sooner.
My son's never thrown a fit at any doctors, dentists or orthodontists office.

4 moms found this helpful

If you don't like the way the dentist treats your daughter I'd find a good pediatric dentist so that your daughter can have better experiences at the dentist and it will help her build good habits going forward. I'd find a new dentist no matter how long you've gone there!

4 moms found this helpful

I had a situation where I tokk my VERY very sick child to the pediatrician.
My child was not eating, running 105 fever and sleeping excessively. After I checked in and was still at the counter, my 2 .5 yr old saw the suckers and without picking up her head up off my shoulder, asked so sweetly and faintly " can I have a sucker mommy?" The nurse stood up, grabbed the basket, and said, "we only give the suckers out AFTER they see the doctor". I was flabbergasted. I turned and went and sat down. I felt so bad for my child as she hadnt eaten in three days and she actually had the desire to put something in her Mouth!. I steamed for the whole time I was in there, and then gave her a piece of my mind as I was leaving. Found out 3 days later with the FOURTH visit, my child had a kidney infection and was going into shock.

3 moms found this helpful

At this point, here is what is important: Your daughter is afraid of that dentist. So now you need to find another dentist, at least for her. Do a search for pediatric dentists in your area. Most insurance will have a separate coverage for pediatric dentists so they might choose for you, and if they don't you will get to choose one for yourself. We have a kids only dental place here and it's fantastic. My 4 year old likes going to the dentist and isn't afraid, and it's because the dentists, hygienists, and front office staff all know how to deal with kids. They realize that their goal is to get kids to invest in their own oral health. My 1.5 year old went for an exam and was fine.
I agree that your dentist was not very nice, but at this point it doesn't matter. What matters is finding a suitable pediatric dentist for your daughter.

3 moms found this helpful

I would switch dentists. You are not going to be comfortable in this office now so neither will your children.

3 moms found this helpful

I sympathize. When my daughter was 7, she had a horrible experience at the dentist. She had to have a tooth pulled. The assistant asked the dentist about some kind of numbing gel for her and the dentist literally barked at his assistant that she doesn't get that for this procedure. He never explained why to her, to me, or to my daughter. My daughter was very, very scared to have a tooth pulled. She was crying. I was in the room trying to soothe her, and the dentist out the blue went off on my daughter, got right up in her face and yelled at her for disrespecting her mother because I asked her to try to calm down, and she was having a tough time of it. Honestly, my daughter was not rude or uncooperative just to be naughty, she was just a SCARED kid! This man did not have one shred of kindness for her, he just acted super annoyed with her. So we left. Walked out. And have never been back. Not one of my family of 4. I almost reported his conduct, it was so unprofessional. This dentist is a block from my house, and it was a real PITA to switch us all to a new office, but what a world of difference.

Back to your experience, what is the toothbrush for anyway? Is it supposed to be a behavioral incentive? Really. I always thought it was to promote good dental habits. So because your daughter had a normal kid reaction (she was scared) they PUNISH her by not giving her a toothbrush? Oh, no, they wouldn't want her to brush her teeth at home. What kind of dental professionals are they? Totally ridiculous, if you ask me. Witholding a toothbrush to shame a child for being scared? Honestly, it sounds like they have no patience, understanding, or desire to work with children. Spread the word, and do NOT go back.

2 moms found this helpful

Honestly I would go to a new dentist, which is what a lot of other mom's have said in here. My reason is that when I was little I had an older dentist who seemed to like to drill into teeth. Everytime we went to the dentist he told my mother that I had 2-3 cavities, and then made a second appointment and started drilling which was always extremely painful for me. Come to find out later that most of the pain was because I was allergic to his gloves, and he never noticed (or seemed to care). Eventually my mom decided enough was enough and switched dentists, and I didn't have another cavity until I was in my mid 20's. Find one that understands that kids are kids! Things scare them. It may not scare them the next time, but it may take some time for them to be comfortable.

2 moms found this helpful

I know you and many others won't like my answer but in this case I will say it anyway. I am not a mean person and this is not intended that way, it's meant to make people think about what they are actually wanting.
It is time to find a new dentist as your child is not having the actual service provided that needs to be done. Once she is shown that it's not that bad to clean the teeth she should go willingly, but the first time may be a hold down event for her.

Going to the same praticioner for a lifetime is not necessarily a great thing. Sometimes they aren't up on new technology, techniques and procedures that make the process easier. Sometimes they are just jaded and are almost out of steam for the profession. Sometimes they just get so set in their ways that what you see as unprofessional is just the way their practice operates. Unprofessional has been overused by many here. Unprofessional would have meant that he did harm to the child via a rough handling during teeth cleaning, yelling obscenities while doing the exam. Or not even looking at her teeth.

Not getting what you or the child wanted...while not anything to do with professional or unprofessional, it is how he runs his practice. Every practice is different and it sounds like you need one that will be better for your child. This whole fight for a toothbrush would make me as a child never want to see the dentist again, not the actual treatment.

I'm finding that more and more it's about the treats that children or even adults get instead of the actual care that people are concerned about and that is scary. People show up at a doctors office and are upset because they did away with the little toys and are only giving out stickers now. They expect to be seen in an ER for a sore throat at the same speed a heart attack or stroke is seen and get huffy when they have to wait.

Please see what you are paying for ex: the Dentistry and figure out if your are getting what you are paying for, the toothbrush may be a perk but you can get a better one for cheaper at Walgreens with a character for incentive to Brush.

Expectations and Entitlement? or actual medical care you decide.

2 moms found this helpful

No you are not wrong.

2 moms found this helpful

I have to say that I am on your side. My daughter (also 4) has been terrible at the dentist (very scared) cried a lot, but they spent a lot of time with her and eventually got the job done. And she ALWAYS got her goody bag and a sticker of her choice no matter how much she cried. The last time we took her she did great. I don't think the toothbrush should be behavior based. And for him to tell your Mom straight out it was because of bad behavior is rude and unprofessional. I do agree with other posters that you should probably check into getting a pediatric dentist. We love ours. He is at 1534 Weatherstone Lane in Elgin, IL. Dr. Matt Karsten ###-###-####. The whole staff is awesome with kids. Good luck!

C.

2 moms found this helpful

Was your daughter able to watch your husband and her sister have their cleanings? That worked for me! I brought my daughter to watch me when she was 2 1/2. She checked out the instruments, saw how the procedure went and then had her appointment the next week. Hopefully you can work with her and her anxiety, I know you realize dental care is very important. Maybe she can observe your check up??

2 moms found this helpful

I know it is not about the toothbrush. My two daughters love going to the dentist because it has always been a positive experience for them. Your 4 year old deserves this, too. Find a dentist that will help your child to get over this fear of "going to the dentist".

2 moms found this helpful

If you have been going to the same dentist since your "childhood" he is probably getting long in the tooth (pardon the pun)! I'd find a new hip dentist immediately - one tolerant of normal 4 year old child behaviour. There are a tonne of understanding kid friendly dentists/pediatric dentists out there, eager to get new patients. Honestly why didn't the dentist just give the toothbrush!

1 mom found this helpful

Yep...you are wrong. Dentist is trying to encourage her to open her mouth and her treat is a goody bag for listening to the dentist. Your daughter learned nothing now and will continue her behavior. If she's that scared, my dentist always let me sit by the child while getting his teeth cleaned. They usually let the dentist clean it if I watch them. My children always watched me getting my teeth cleaned which shows them that mommy is not scared of the dentist.

1 mom found this helpful

Glad you decided to find a different dentist. I'm sorry, but I would have reacted the same as you and as your Mother. The point is not the toothbrush, the point is that you have a little girl who is very scared to go to the dentist and now the dentist is punishing her for being scared. What a jerk! Like you really want your daughter to be scared in there. Maybe it's time for him to retire.... Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Well, I'd say that it could have been that they didn't give her a cool new toothbrush in order to provide her some incentive to actually get her teeth cleaned next time. As long as they weren't mean to her about the situation then I think that it was a good way to let her know what the expectations are when she visits the dentist. But I have to say that, even though I have a great dentist myself, I do not take my children to him. I take them to a highly recommended pediatric dental office in my area. Everything is geared towards the kids...smaller chairs, shorter dividers, tv's with kids programming, video games and most importantly a very quiet, kid friendly staff that is full of compassion and caring for the little ones! My kids are 4 & 5 and have been going to the dentist 2x's a year since they were 3 and they have never had a problem AND they go back without parents (I get to join them once the cleaning, dental check and flouride treatments are done). Check for any pediatric dental offices in your area...Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

take your business elsewhere immediately.
I can recommend pediatric dentist Dr. Ned Savide. He has a great staff the atmosphere is very child friendly.

1 mom found this helpful

My son bit my dentist that I had my whole life so he recommended a pediatric dentist. I took him to a pediatric dentist that was in our dental plan and it was crazy. He wanted to put him under and do all sorts of work on his baby teeth. All of the kids in the waiting room had mouthfulls of silver teeth. My son had 2-3 teeth with cavities. I was horribly uncomfortable and decided never to go there again! I've always LOVED going to the dentist. I just found a new dentist for our family and everything was fine. He decided to just let the teeth fall out and they did. I wasn't at the appointment when my son bit, my mom was so I just made sure from then on that I was there. I'm sure there are some pediatric specialists who are good but beware. There are great dentists out there and bad ones too.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter goes to a pediatric dentist. She has definitely been scared at times, especially in the beginning. She is always given the goodie bag with the toothbrush, paste, floss etc. regardless if she cried a little during the appointment or not. I always got the impression that those items are given to everyone as part of the maintenance of the oral hygiene, not as a reward. I still get that stuff from my dentist each check-up/cleaning. Since they gave her one the first time, I can't imagine why it was such a big issue this time. I probably would have just let it go though. Maybe talk to the dentist before you take her back, find out exactly what the policies are regarding children. If you don't agree, you can always find another dentist, at least until she is older/more comfortable. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Our dentist gives each kid a goody bag full of floss, a toothbrush, stickers, toothpaste, etc. right when they sit down on the chair. It puts them at ease and gives them something to hold while they are being examined.
I don't think I would have gone back and made a fuss about a toothbrush, but I WOULD change dentists if he thinks that being afraid is bad behavior.

My mom took my niece to the dentist once and my little niece has a terrible gag reflex. When she has to open her mouth wide, she gags. The dentist yelled in her face for being disobedient when she would try to open wide and then gag. My mom let that old freak have a piece of her mind and never went back.
People who don't like kids or understand them should not work with them!

1 mom found this helpful

Pick a new dentist, they are a dime a dozen.

1 mom found this helpful

I think you should find a new dentist. Our pediatric dentist has fun brightly decorated rooms, and tvs going during the entire cleaning. You did not over react - is the dentist going to bill your insurance for a cleaning that your daughter didn't get? I never viewed the toothbrush as a reward I view it as a small parting gift for the fortune that they charge to clean teeth.

Good Luck and when you make a new appointment make sure you tell them your daughter has had a bad experience and is terrified of the dentist so that they can take extra special care with her.

1 mom found this helpful

The only thing I could add is that yeah, may be time to find another dentist. I went to the same one for years that my mom also went to and I saw my whole life...then found out (moving out of state, and after searching for a bit) that this old guy had helped to cause some cavities!!
Sometimes, it is just a good idea to get an updated doc. There are so many changes in medical professions that unless you know your doc keep up with the new things (maybe teaches others) that it is likely they are missing new technology.
...obviously nothing is 100% of course...
Good luck! I did find out my dentist I've now seen for the past 6 years is also awesome (as is his staff) with my 2.5 year old (message if you would like his name, he's in Lincoln Park East)

1 mom found this helpful

I would try out a different dentist for her. We asked everyone we knew about who was the most kid friendly dentist in our area. Our dentist and his staff make it super super fun for kids. They are so great. They just do a wonderful job making kids feel happy and comfortable and have all these tricks to distract them and keep them feeling good. They are almost a bit over the top! Our son just LOVES going to the dentist. Haha - he probably will try to get cavities just so he can go. ;) Any dentist who knows kids would never say a scared/nervous child is having bad behavior.

1 mom found this helpful

The dentist office made the mistake by giving her one the first time. If they only give them when you get your teeth cleaned then that should be the rule all the time. Or you should have been informed that children get a tooth brush on their first visit and then only if they get their teeth cleaned. Now as far as the dentist saying she won't get one because of bad behavior he was out of line. Adults are scared to go to the dentist so a 4 year old he should understand. He needs to work on his chair side manners.

1 mom found this helpful

I know you have plenty of input already, I just wantedt o say it is okay to get mad when someone says your kid is bad. Punishing a scared child is never, ever acceptable. Obviously some of the moms on here have never been in that situation. Both my sons have Asperger's so I have spent years dealing with that same attitude. Good luck to you and your fam. I know you will love when you find a great pedi dentist.

1 mom found this helpful

The attitude of healthcare providers has evolved through the years and this guy is one of the old school. I'm not saying he is precisely of the mind that kids are to be "seen and not heard", but he apparently hasn't embraced the concept that there are many things dentists can do to make going to the dentist actually fun and lay the groundwork for a life of positive dental experiences. My grandkids dentist actually has an annual festival for the kids where the get to play in bouncy houses and merry-go-rounds, get free lunches (hot dogs and the like), and have booths where they can earn little stuffed animals and other prizes. My big, brave, well educated husband, a retired Army colonel and university vice president, is the world's biggest wimp about dentists, dating back to bad childhood experiences. My five-year-old granddaughter, on the other hand, looks at going to the dentist as THE best fun imaginable.
So, my advice? Find a dentist who specializes in kids. If you are happy with your old dentist for yourself, fine, go to him/her. But consider a pediatric specialist for the kids. Some people are great with kids, some are not, and frankly, they do have different dental issues. Go to a pediatric specialist. Don't expect your old dentist to do it all. (Admittedly, I think the guy was a jerk to risk alienating an entire family over one free toothbrush. Sounds like he was having a bad, bad week. Cut him some slack this time, but if he acts up with the adults again, find a new one.)

I agree with Ellis. By explaining to your daughter that she'll get a new toothbrush when she gets a cleaning it gives her an incentive to try to cooperate. But by just giving it to her (and berating the staff in the process) she has learned she gets exactly what she wants regardless of her behavior (scared or not).

She may feel more comfortable at a pediatric dentist's office. And that's what I would try for her next visit.

I'm not trying to sound harsh when I say this but as the spouse of someone in the medical field and having worked in the medical field for many years, both you and your mom owe that office an apology. We, as caregivers, deal with enough trying to care for patients, deal with the public, insurance companies, etc. The last thing they need is someone going off over a toothbrush.

One, I wouldn't return - there are too many good, kind dentists and hygienists. Second, I took my kids to a pediatric dentist in Bloomingdale by Stratford square mall - Dr. William McElroy. Ask for Dr. Bill - I don't like to the other denist in the practice. He was such a great dentist that my pediatrician's wife would drive from the north shore to Dr. Bill for their children.

Find a pediatric dentist for the kids, they should always have good experiences. They should have a list at your insurance agency or in your list of approved docs. If not then look them up online and find one specifically pediatric. A family dentist is NOT a pediatric dentist. They are trained in adult teeth and not baby teeth and how to deal with primarily kids.

Please don't take your child back there. Obviously this dentist and his staff have BAD ATTITUDES towards a 4 year old. Some people shouldn't have license or degrees. Please seek help from a caring, compassionate and patient dentist ASAP.

All three of my kids went to our family dentist at young ages to get into a pattern of having a very short visit with the dentist, watching what happens when Mom or Dad sits in the chair, having assessment of their baby teeth etc. Our family would go out to lunch afterwards. I don't recall any goodie bags. Our dentist does all his own work including the teeth cleaning (no nurse...just the receptionist making appointments...no gifts to anybody). I agree that you need a different dentist. I expect you want to ask about other dentists in the Sugar Grove, IL area. My brother-in-law is a dentist and our son is now in dental school. Please understand that there is no requirement to give anybody a toothbrush for coming to dentist office (not an entitlement!). I agree you want an office that will be polite and respectful to your family. If you have dental insurance, you want an office that will take your dental insurance. You are welcome to email me directly if you want the contact information for my dentist in Lisle, Illinois but I expect there is a dentist closer to where you live that is nicer with children. It is important to get into pattern of having teeth brushed and cleaned, straightened if necessary...and getting help with any teeth problems. You may want to repost asking "please tell me the dentist you're using that is good with children in the Sugar Grove, IL area?" or ask your friends with children who they go to? If you decide to look at other offices, take your kids along with you...even before you make the appointment ...

I am 33 and my family goes to the same dentist that I did as a kid too. I think my parents still go to her as well. You are kind of in an awkward situation now. I am not a confrontational person so I don't think I would have approached the dental staff like your mom did. However, I do think it is ridiculous to deny a child a toothbrush for being scared. I never thought of the toothbrush as a reward or treat - just as an incentive to keep up with dental hygiene. I would have given her the toothbrush and made a deal with her that "she would use it and come back and show them all her pretty teeth." My daughter refused to let them clean/count her teeth last year when she was 4. It was not her first trip to the dentist. They tried and had me come in and everything to no avail. We rescheduled for a few weeks later. Come to find out that she thought she was going to get a shot in her mouth so she was scared to open her mouth.

I think I would have a hard time taking my family back to that dentist after that experience. If I left I think I would switch my records and then send a polite letter explaining why. While young kids can have cavities and other dental issues, the main point of taking kids that age to the dentist is to get them comfortable with the idea of going.

Yes i agree with you, your dentist should not have said bad behavior. you can try one more time and get the check up and defintiely take your kids to a pedatric dentist. it is tramatic and they should not be afraid to take care of themselves. good luck there are so many AWESOME dentist out there and I would give them a chance, its only a chance.

I agree to switch to a pediatric dentist. They are much better at understanding kids development and what is reasonable to expect at what ages.

Our "regular" dentist suggested that I file my daughters tooth myself when she fell and chipped it at one year old. He refused to even see her to check it and make sure there wasn't a problem. I switched my kids to a pediatric dentist right then and there. If he doesn't want our business than that's fine.

Good luck!
Jessica

I think the fact that they denied your child a toothbrush is a sign that they are petty, mean and childish, not you. You felt your child was not rewarded for her visit, and you were right, especially if other kids were leaving with toothbrushes. They could have made a friend of your child by giving her a remembrance of her visit, but instead it created more hard feelings... This is really not about the toothbrush, but about your feelings about your child. A four year old is not responsible for their feelings. I hope they didn't tell her she didn't get the brush cuz she wasn't good! I would sure find out. If it were me I would find another dentist, period. There are plenty of open-minded, caring and charitable dentists around who would be able to handle your child. As a child I was terrified of the doctor, so I can relate. I am glad your mom got the toothbrush just on principle. Now she needs to find another dentist too! Good luck!

I think that you were being a bit selfish in 'having' to have that toothbrush but on the same hand...the dentist & the assistant should've been more tactful in the way they handled it. I think that ppl expect too much of others & when you don't get that same gift you get mad abt it...you're not the only one. People expect us to take expired coupons or get that free gift w/o a coupon & get mad when we can't do that for them. I think that's just selfish on your part the way you reacted. True I think that your child should've gotten the same goodie bag as everyone else & I think it was a bit selfish on their part not to have given it to her & the fact that they said she was misbehaving as an excuse not to give her a toothbrush was uncouth but to go back & throw a fit about it, meaning your mother, is a bit childish. I rec'd untactful behavior from my former family dentist that I had gone to since childhood & he treated me SO rudely w/o just cause, over a misunderstanding. Rather than getting up & leaving I went ahead & allowed him to proceed fixing my cracked tooth but never went to him again so I do understand how people who have a good paying careers can become a bit cocky but I think you should've just told him that you wouldn't be back then left it at that. There are other ways to get your point across than making yourself, your mom included, appear to be as childish as your dentist.

Wow. o.O It wasn't wrong to assume you'll get a toothbrush even if the entire procedure wasn't completed. You still paid for it. My dentist once told me that the price of brushes & other extras are included in the price of your visit so you had every right to receive it. As long as she didn't bite, hit, scream, kick, etc. at the visit but was just really nervous and shy, that seems normal to me for a 4 yo.

I guess I'm blessed with a super awesome dentist with great hygienists. My kids love going and always come home with lots of goodies. Even the couple of times they didn't want to cooperate well, they still came home with a toothbrush. A toothbrush is for hygiene. It's not a "reward" in and of itself. For a toothbrush to be a reward it would have to be a special one (i.e. one w/ a licensed character on it.) and my dentist doesn't even carry those kinds for the kids. His usually have sports or flowers or something. Your daughter needs to feel comfortable with her dentist and the hygienist and if she's not, it is time for a new dentist. As other people mentioned, a pediatric dentist may work well but not necessarily. I've heard lots of complaints of my local pediatric dentist.

I remember being in about 4th grade and putting up a fight for the floride. At that point I knew that I always got a little trinket at the end of the appointment, but I noticed at the end of that appointment that I wasn't offered anything. I put two and two together and realized it was because of my behavior and next time I was better. But I was in 4th grade and able to put that all together. A young child should have gotten the toy, toothbrush, whatever, despite the behavior. They need something to make them like going to the dentist in the first place!

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.