We have a brilliant pediatric dentist here in San Diego. However, there wasn’t enough gentle coaxing and reasoning to get La Jolla Girl to accept X-rays at her last appointment. It wasn’t mandatory, but they insist it needs to be done at her next appointment, which is right around the corner.
They hygienist suggested that I buy Show Me Your Smile!: A Visit to the Dentist (Dora the Explorer) because there’s a section in there about Dora the Explorer getting X-rays. They have had great luck eliminating the fear of the X-ray machine by asking parents to read this book to their kids. We’ve been reading it and discussing the X-rays. So far, so good. The book also explains the various dental tools and walks through a typical dentist appointment.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, kids actually need X-rays more often than adults because their mouths are growing and changing. Kids with a higher risk of tooth decay need X-rays every six months. La Jolla Girl has molars that are closer together than normal, so she falls into this category. There is a helpful FAQ on the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry website that also discusses the safety of pediatric X-rays. Basically, they argue that the X-ray is safer than an undetected dental problem.
I figured I’d share this information just in case you also have a difficult dental patient on your hands. I’ll update this post once I find out if this book worked.