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Any tips on getting a 4yr old to let the dentisit look at his teeth?!

(11 Posts)
bradsmissus Tue 08-Sep-09 17:31:41

I have just had half an hour of sobbing from DS. We had a family appointment for our 6 monthly check up. Admittedly we left it late to take him, he was nearly 3 the first time. This is our third appointment with DS.

Dentist is lovely. DS talks about going to the dentist and how he is going to sit in the chair all by himself. He is offered the chance to go first or last, whichever he wants.

We get there, he is fine. I have my checkup, DH has his, DD(10) has hers but once it is his turn he just starts crying and engages a vice like grip around my neck and nothing can convinve him to let the dentist look. If I try and get him to go first, the crying starts then.

I have no idea how to deal with it. I remain calm but firm with him but he is not having a bit of it!!!

He is quite shy of adults he doesn't know well although he did manage to answer the dentists questions between sobs!

Any tips? Do I just keep taking him and hope he will get more co-operative as he gets older?

chocolatefudgebrownie Tue 08-Sep-09 18:06:54

Watching with interest, my ds also 4 is the same. I'm hoping someone comes along with some helpful tips, as I have taken him 3 times to the dentist and he still won't open his mouth!

bradsmissus Tue 08-Sep-09 20:13:51


bradsmissus Tue 08-Sep-09 20:14:57

Sorry Chocolate, pressed too soon! Glad it's not just me! DS told me when I took him to bed he was sorry! sad Don't think it will make much difference next time though!

jamsandwich Tue 08-Sep-09 21:13:13

Oh where are the people with the answers?! - this is my dd too. Left first visit shockingly late (moved house etc etc) but went really well when she was 3.9 - she opened her mouth wide as we went through the door. Only hitch was that the dentist saw some decay that warrants a filling and we agreed to up the dental hygiene regime and check it again in 3 months rather than fill on first visit. I'm sure dd is totally unaware of this, so doesn't explain why she wouldn't open mouth.

But she would not, would not open, despite hilarious attempts of dentist to check her toy raccoon's teeth and then resorting to tickling her. DD just chomped down on her mirror and that was that.

Will definitely watch this one...

Littlefish Tue 08-Sep-09 21:27:34

Have you tried reading the book: "Harry and the dinossaurs say RAH". We read this a lot before I took dd to the dentist. We practised saying RAH to the dentist. Luckily, we've got a lovely dentist who pretended to be scared everytime dd did it smile.

NorbertDentressangle Tue 08-Sep-09 21:34:46

DS (5) has never been overly keen on going to the dentist.

He still sits on my lap when its his turn as its the only way he'll go anywhere near the chair. I actually think its the chair that freaks him out more than the dentist looking in his mouth TBH.

I also tend to bribe promise him something afterwards eg. trip to the nearby park

bradsmissus Wed 09-Sep-09 12:42:49

Thanks littelfish - will get a copy and give it a try.

I also had some very constructive advice this morning (adopts sarcastic tone).

My work colleague very helpfully said "Well I would just make him sit in the chair and open his mouth. I wouldn't stand for it. I always made mine open their mouths for the dentist"

I really appreciated her wisdom!

dikkertjedap Wed 09-Sep-09 16:28:03

Our dentist advised us that before considering any treatment of young children (our dd is 3.5 years) he likes them on average to visit him approx. 6 times to build up a rapport.

So when we arrive dd and I wait in 'reception room' (he doesn't like the word waiting room) whilst his assistant puts a number of toys on a bench. We then go in, he shows the chair and a board with photos of children who have already sat in the chair and asks if she would like her photo taken in the chair (assistant has the polaroid camera). Then asks if she would like to have a look at the bench of toys and choose one which she can keep at the end of the appointment. Than asks if he can count her teeth and gives her a Mickey Mouse mirror to hold to help with the counting. Then shows 'polishing' tool (first on mommy's hand and then her hand). Explains that it is very special to have a tooth polished and that he can only do one but only if she really wants it and then she can choose which one but only one and not more. Then shows different flavours of toothpaste which can be used for the polishing and asks which flavour she would like to try etc etc etc. If she gets scared in the meantime, then he stops straight away and they go together looking at his sticker drawer (he has a drawer full of stickers) and she can choose a sticker, then continue again. First appointment took 1 hour he checked all teeth and took x-ray of 1 molar which needs filling but sealed it for the time being to give more time to get used to dentist. Recently been for our second visit, went well. She is still a bit apprehensive, but starts to get used to the surroundings etc.

This is a private dentist, and clearly it is a costly approach, however, I don't want my dd to end up as traumatised as I for a long time was.

Littlefish Wed 09-Sep-09 18:05:16

That's a lovely approach dikkertjedap smile

My dentist is NHS and always encouarged me to take dd with me to appointments. She used to sit on a chair, eat breadsticks and watch. When she was a little bigger, he used to get her to sit in the chair to look at the animal pictures on the ceiling, and made the chair go up and down.

Then, he progressed to just counting her teeth at the front and saying nice things about them.

When she was about 3 and a half or 4, she had her first "proper" appointment, where she had to open her mouth so he could look athe back teeth.

Dd loves going, and gets very exited when she knows we're going to see the dentist!

MrsMagnolia Thu 10-Sep-09 12:12:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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