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May 14, 2010



Thank you thank you thank you for posting this! I have a girl who is I think about the same age as your girls, and mine also has to have teeth extracted (and an expander installed), and also HATES strategizing for stressful situations, HATES talking about what scares her, etc etc. I will remember and try to learn from your experience as we go into this ordeal.


This is a timely post for me... Rosie, who turns three in a few weeks, has a cavity. She has never been to the dentist, but has a dark spot on a molar that won't brush off. My bff is a dentist so I talked to her about it, and she said it's a 95% chance that its a cavity.

My strategy was to coach. She had a doctor's appointment a few months ago, that I did not coach her about beforehand and just casually mentioned it that morning, when we're already in the car, that we're going to the doctor's. Well that totally didn't work, she completely freaked out. She had a thousand questions and every answer I gave just scared her more. So for the dentist, I decided to coach. Unfortunately that isn't working either and she's completely freaked out about going to the dentist. I haven't made the appointment yet because I'm so nervous about how its going to go.

So I'm running out of ideas. I like how you handled the bravery vs fear concerns she had and how you were able to teach her the difference. I think I'll use that one when we do eventually go to the dentist!


Did you go to a children's dentist? Not sure how many options you have.

Social stories (making a book about her going to the dentist, essentially), or books on going to the dentist may help at that age. Pediatric dentists tend to have ways to make it better, so you could call one and ask for ideas, too.

And there's always bribery... I absolutely have resorted to bribery at times (though I keep in mind that if you offer a BIG bribe, they experience the situation as worse than if you offer a 'meh' bribe. Because they know you'd only pay them off big if it was a big problem/pain, and re-translate the experience through the payment amount).

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