Friday, September 3, 2010


I should probably warn you that this is a venting post.  Please bear with me.

Today was a long day; mainly caused by many patients not showing up.  It happens quite frequently on the Friday before a holiday.  It makes the day just drag on and there is only so much cleaning one can do before taken over by the fumes.

But what I'm most frustrated about is parents.  Parents that don't act like parents.  Parents that don't know when to stay in the lobby and don't know when to keep their mouths shut.  Parents that interfere with me doing my job.

So here's my advise to those who are parents or may become parents one day.  This is how to behave when bringing your children to the dentist.

* Coming back into the treatment room is a privilege, not a right.  If you kid behaves, you get to stay.  If they misbehave or don't cooperate (depending upon age), you don't get to stay.  Six year olds are old enough to take directions from someone who is not their mother.  Much less 13 year olds.

*Don't deny your kids local anesthetic.  Just because you may not use it doesn't mean that your kid is tough enough to not need it.  Everyone's pain tolerance is different.  Let your kid have the choice of having novacaine or not.  It makes them feel like they have some control over the situation.

*When going over post op instructions and I tell you that pain meds would be a good idea before the novacaine wears off, don't tell me "Oh, I won't.  We do meditation".  Don't let your kid have an extreme toothache when taking a little bit of ibprofen would help with any discomfort.

*Don't let your kids run up and down the hall yelling.  There are other patients in the office and privacy needs to be respected.

*Allow me to go over the steps of the procedure.  Having them see the tools lets them see that nothing's sharp or scary.  They also get to understand the purpose of each tool.  It's actually kind of cool.  It also lets them know what to expect and the fear of the unknown goes away.

*Don't tell your kid that it will or won't hurt.  Bringing up the H word tells them that something WILL hurt.  Don't even say "I'll only hurt for just a bit".  We prefer to explain what kind of "hurt" it will be.'ll feel a pinch; or a poke, or a mosquito bite.  Or it'll feel weird or puffy or uncomfortable.(as in local anesthetic). 

*When we're all done and we're praising your kid because they did a great job, don't say "You should have cried."  What is that?  What does that should have cried?  By saying that, you are training your kid to think that when they go to the dentist or the doctor that they are going to cry.  Getting them worked up about treatment just makes things worse.  Be mellow and positive.  Having a negative attitude makes the visit go down the toilet real fast.

*Let your kids enjoy the dentist.  Let them pick out their own toy, pencil or sticker.  It's a reward for them doing a wonderful job.  Even if it means it's another "piece of junk" to take home.

**Edit 9/4/10***
I forgot to mention one thing.  Bringing kids back to the room by themselves without mom or dad makes them feel like they are BIG.  That they can handle it by themselves and they'll be okay.  I know some parents like to be in the room to hold their hand and to make sure they're alright or maybe just to watch.  But if we have problems, we'll come get you.  And sometimes having a spectator in the room distracts your child from what we are telling them and having a troupe of siblings in there too creates chaos.  My chair is not a monkey bar swing.  And if your kid breaks it, you get the bill. 


simplicity said...

Good advice Julie! I'm glad that I haven't broken any of your rules yet! We send all the kids in on their own and wait in the lobby and haven't had to deal with anesthetic yet (meaning no cavities)! (Thank God!)

Gina said...

Great advice Julie! That stinks that some parents are like that. Sorry to hear you had a bad day.