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FAQ:  Sedation Dentistry


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Question:
Sedation for childrens teeth cleaning? I have 2 daughters, 2 and 3 years old, both of which need to have their teeth cleaned.

Is it true that the dentist has to put them to sleep in order to clean their teeth? My wife and I are against a dentist putting our children to sleep to simply clean thier teeth and I am in need of some answers, if you could help please. ...Visitor from TN

Answer:
Unless your daughters are not able to behave at the dentist, or have extreme decay that would require them to be put to sleep, I would tell you to find another dental practice.

Even if they act up and misbehave a bit, they are very small children and should not be given any "sleep" medicine just to clean their teeth. The correct thing to do is to make their first visits to the dentist a positive and comfortable experience.

Take it slow, make it fun, and turn it into a "happy" visit , instead of forcing a cleaning on a them. A lot of kids, even big kids, are afraid of the unknown,and may have heard horror stories about going to the dentist.

Most kids start to see the dentist around 2-3 years old and it is very important for them to go to an office that is geared towards children. If a young kid is putting up a fuss or very upset and does not want to have someone look in their mouth or TRY to clean their teeth, no problem. Turn it into a no charge "happy" visit.

Give them a ride up and down in the dental chair ,then show them how the water in the cup dissapears when it gets sucked up by "Mr. Thirsty". Then finish by telling them they were a great patient, give them a toothbrush, and last let them pick out a toy from the toy box (assuming the office has a kids toy box).

Don't you think that once they get bigger, that they are going to be excited to get back to that fun place. It may take a couple "happy" visits until a fearful child is ready to have their teeth cleaned and looked at.

I recommend you take your daughters to a pediatric dentist who will take the time to introduce them to dental care the right way.

Editorial Staff

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