My dental practice treats everyone from toddlers to the elderly, and though we have a passion for cosmetic dentistry, children are usually the most fun and interesting patients.
With three children of my own, ages ten and under, I know that kids have unusual insights and yield their opinions and ideas freely. Once when I was in the midst of disciplining my four-year-old for being so whiny and reminding him that Santa was taking notes, I was taken so aback by his response that I found it hard not to laugh. I told him that his father and I were not going to put up with his unacceptable behavior any longer and that after he returned from his weekend at Grandma’s, we were going to be different. As I proceeded to explain to him how we would be handling such behavior in the future, I noticed he looked lost in thought, and then he interrupted me asking, “What you gonna look like?”
At my dental office, I have had similar enlightening experiences as kids surprise me with their perceptions of what is occurring during their appointments. After I extracted the tooth of a 7-year-old boy, the mother asked her son as they left our office, “Has your tooth stopped hurting yet?” to which her son replied,”I don’t know. The dentist has it.” In treating young patients I have learned that…………
- Shots hurt less if you are using sleepy juice in a squirt gun.
- Mr. Whistle will chase all the sugar bugs out of a tooth, and Mr. Thirsty will then suck them up so you don’t have to swallow them.
- When the buttons on the dental chair are operated by a brother or sister, the ride is much like one at Six Flags.
- Siblings who usually fight and jockey for position become more gracious in a dental office and usually volunteer their brothers or sisters to go first.
- The tooth fairy can not be fooled by a piece of white chalk placed under a pillow.
- When explaining brushing and flossing techniques to a child, it is best to verify their understanding or else they may be adamant with their parents that the dentist told them that BACON and SODA works just as good as toothpaste.
- Some perfectly good teeth do hurt when chewing if they are chewing broccoli, liver, or tofu.
The insights of children so often amaze and humor me and my staff. I have had many a listening adult patient in an adjacent room ask if he could wear the bubblegum nose and breathe the funny gas before he gets a silver star in his tooth. I think kids keep us in check making us stop and take a different look at the world. I am thankful to be blessed with three little comedians of my own and to part of a dental team that enjoys treating patients of all ages.