Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sparkly Princess Teeth

Grace's first visit to the dentist back on December 30th and then again a week later (Try #2) on January 6th didn't go over so well. The hygienist was so nice and patient and was able to clean her teeth during the second visit, but I didn't like the dentist's demeanor or the way he talked to Grace. There's a fine line between firm/stern/mean and I didn't like what side of the fence we were sitting on, especially for a pediatric dental practice.

I also didn't agree with some of the information I was given, like "braces on baby teeth" or "drug sedation for the next cleaning", rather than behavior modification. Most of all, I didn't like the immediate change in attitude when the dentist found out my mother, who went with me for the second visit, was a physician. Can you tell that last one is a pet peeve of mine?

Luckily Lance and I were on the same page and I'm so glad we stuck to our guns. We decided to seek out a different pediatric dental practice for her 6 month follow up and boy, am I glad we did! It was like night and day. I'm sure the fact that she's 6 months older made a difference, but what I think made the most difference was the way the medical practice itself was structured. Everything, and I mean everything there, was geared toward easing children's fears. Every person that I came in contact with was so very friendly and courteous.

Grace is all about the Disney Princesses these days so imagine her excitement when we walked in to a "princess castle"! She wasted no time finding a friend and together they played babies and castle for a while. When it was time to go back for the cleaning, Grace was calm and ready. She lucked out and had THE nicest hygienist, Ms. Ameesha. Ms. Ameesha let her see all the tools and knew how to talk princesses with her. She let her pick out her toothpaste (strawberry) and conditioning foam (bubble gum, if I remember correctly). When it was time to lie back, she gave Grace "magical sunglasses". And knowing Grace didn't have a great first experience at the other dentist, she suggested I sit right by the little pumpkin and hold her hand. Checking for plaque with the hook instrument was "counting teeth". When Grace clenched her mouth, Ms. Ameesha helped her relax by saying "Don't bite me. I don't taste good." So thankful for people who are great with kids! Grace did SO WELL!!! She even flashed a "Hi, Mom" a time or two :) Showing off her "sparkly princess teeth". And when it was time for Grace to see the dentist, what a difference! Doctor Shannon was super nice! Not only was her demeanor caring and professional, but she explained things easily and answered all my questions. She won the little pumpkin over from the start when she asked to see her princess teeth :). You could tell she was knowledgeable and up to date in the field of pediatric dentistry. Most importantly, the information she gave made sense. Absolutely no need for baby braces or sedation. Even she raised an eyebrow at the thought of braces on baby teeth.

I'm so glad that we found a caring, child-friendly pediatric dental practice. One that cares about a child's experience, and not about unnecessary, money-making medical procedures. Thank you Heidi for the referral!

Way to go Grace!!! We're so proud of you for behaving so well!
And YES! Your teeth are as sparkly as Princess Aurora and Sleeping Beauty (the PINK princesses) ;)


Kris said...

Good for you, for not allowing that first office to buffalo you into thinking their way was THE way. My granddaughter, also 3 1/2, had a great first experience. Her Daddy, my son in law, is PharmD in a hospital, and he did his homework before taking her to a pediatric dentist. Like anything, you have to find what fits for you. With him being in the medical field too, he gets a different type of respect when going to the Dr. It should be that way for all. Good for Grace!!

Em said...

Good Mommy!
I was SUPER lucky with our pediatric dentist-living on an island you have SO few choices for things (there are two pediatric dentists here). I am so glad you found someone who will help Grace to feel comfortable with her experiences! (because every six months for the rest of her childhood is a LOT of visits!!!)

ADA said...

That's where we go and Aidan loooves it too! They are fantastic! Sorry you had such a bad experience beforehand!

Amber said...

Yea for a good dentist visit....I am so afraid of Reese having a bad experience! I have been on the search for a Ped. dentist with not much luck. I might just have to drive a little to go to one :(

Love all the "fun" words they used for her...what little girl wouldn't love a castle, magical glasses and princess teeth :)

Heather L. said...

Wow, that first dentist sounds like a really bad one! Braces on baby teeth??? What the heck?

I am glad she had a better experience this time - and even MORE glad that I'm not the only mom who has taken pics of her child at the dentist LOL! We are two of a kind =)

Patsy said...

Good thing you didn't come back and listen to the first dentist. I guess it takes an extra effort to be patient with children but it's not an excuse for a poor attitude.

I had inquired from a few dentists (Bloomington, IL pediatric care) about the right practices of handling children patients so I know what to expect when my daughter first went to the dentist. Luckily, it was a good experience for her and now it's her brother's time for his first visit.

Jessica said...

It really does make such a difference. The mere mention of "dentist" sent her running in the opposite direction after the first dentist we suffered through. And then after this wonderful visit, just the very next day she asked me when she could go again. She WANTED to go back to the dentist! PTL for an answered prayer!

P.S. Amanda!!! Keep up your blog - I want to read :O HE HE HE