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I posted this is pediatric section but no one answered....please help!!! Dental phobia



Feb 13, 2008
I posted this is pediatric section but no one answered....please help!!! Dental phobia

My daughter, who turns 10 in 2 weeks, has a few phobias. The worst one is dental phobia. I took her to the dentist a couple times when she was 3 and 4. She had a few small cavities filled and had no fear.

Then we didn't take her to the dentist again til she was 8. We had little income so we qualified Medicaid type program for her. I took her to a dentist because she wasn't losing any baby teeth and she had a lot of tartar on her teeth. I tried all kinds of tricks and treats to get her to brush properly but she was very skittish. Anyway, she tensed up and cried a bit at that dentist, and that dentist said she had "horrible plaque/tatar build up like she had never seen", and that her baby teeth would not come out because of it, and she would not see her because she would need to be fully sedated.

So I took her to another pediatric dentist who also accepted the state program. He was much more caring. He agreed she needed sedation (drugs, not IV) so he could just extract the teeth. She had overcrowding problems as well. She was "Consciously sedated" so has no unpleasant memories of it. That was in Feb 2013.
She had a cleaning again in Oct 2013. She had the plaque buildup again, and the dentist told her (and me) that it's important for her to floss. But she won't do it!
I took her again right before xmas 2013. Her teeth are really crowded and needed to have 2 teeth pulled. She had the tartar build up again. I had been very worried they would report me to child protective services because I couldn't get her to brush adequately (or floss at all). But they told us to keep coming for cleanings and really make an effort. They told me to come back in a few months, but by that time we no longer qualified for state aid because my husbands income went up.

So It's been 15 months and I haven't been back. We have medical insurance but no dental because the premiums are too high for us to afford, and they don't cover much. We are already living paycheck to paycheck. We do not qualify for state assistance.

I haven't even worried about until recently. Her plaque is building up again bad just like before (bottom front few teeth). She has lied to me about brushing and I caught her lying.I know it's cause she's scared it will hurt (she has sensitive gums). She will brush her teeth for a minute or so but it's not working much. I don't want to harp too much (I've been asking her to show me her teeth) and she gets all scared. She knows I would never hurt her!

I've been obsessing about this non stop. I made an appoint with the dentist for about a week from now. We found out DH's medical insurance will pay for some dental (up to $400) through a Health Reimbursment Account, but we have to pay up front.
The pediatric dentist we take her to is kinda pricey. We are broke right now, in bad credit debt and have very little $ in our checking account until my husband gets paid Friday.
OK here is my WORRY--I am afraid the dentist is going to report us to Child Protective Services because we did not return for a cleaning for over a year AND she continues to have this probelm with a lot of plaque buildup.
She is getting older now, I can't bribe her or force her to brush and floss. Just recently, I got her to start using Plax moutrinse and brushing twice a day, but it's been a battle.
I don't know if anyone has any words of advice but I'm really anxious and don't know where else to post....


Feb 24, 2015
Re: I posted this is pediatric section but no one answered....please help!!! Dental phobia

I can't help with answers to any of your concerns. Maybe your daughter is just more prone to plaque build up? (I have one teen with no cavities and one who has lots. Our dentist says they have different "chemistry" going on in their mouths.) Do reward/incentive charts work with her? You wouldn't have to spend money on the rewards, it could be something like fixing her favorite dinner or a family outing to park. I would think a pediatric dentist would be especially understanding. I hope it goes well for you!