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Have you ever not understood why your child’s
dentist recommended something?
Do you ever have doubts about his advice?
Have these unanswered issues led you
to disregard what he told you and your child?
In other words, have you not done what the dentist
said, simply because you did not understand it?
It just didn’t make sense to you,
so it couldn’t have been reasonable advice.
Another thing: have you ever thought you know better
for your child’s oral health than your pediatric dentist?
That’s a common temptation, today.
There’s so much information out there, we can all
come to think of ourselves as medical professionals
because we have access to Google.
And then there’s the occasional news article
that comes out, saying that a certain dental habit
actually doesn’t help our children’s oral health.
And because our children weren’t really doing
that thing anyway (but we told our dentist they did),
we immediately agree. Yes, finally, our bias
has been confirmed!
I knew flossing didn’t really help.
But in reality, we just want relief from feeling guilty
for not doing what the dentist said to do.
We think the dentist is wrong, and grab the first bit
of confirming evidence we can. Even when we don’t
outright disagree with our child’s dentists, we don’t get
Half of the stuff they are saying. Why do we have to do
It doesn’t make sense. Because we don’t get it,
we’re less inclined to do it.
So what’s the answer? What can we do to help ourselves?
There’s actually a very simple solution to this dilemma.
It’s simple: ask for an explanation.
Yes, it can be that easy.
When the dentist recommends something for
your child’s oral health (like flossing), ask why.
Ask for an explanation.
After all, the dentist is the one who has the education
and the training. They are in fact able to back up
what they are saying.
And dentists know that their patients’ understanding
is a big factor. Especially the understanding of parents.
It’s always helpful for anyone to see that
advice is not random, but actually supported.
On the patient side, you and your child will trust your
dentist more, once you hear what they have to say.
Oh, he’s not just telling me this “just because.”
There is actually research and study behind these
things. And hopefully things will start to
make more sense, and it will be easier to follow.
Patient education is key. Ask for it! Take the opportunity to
get more involved in your child’s dental health, and
overall health. If you don’t understand something, ask.
If, for some reason, you doubt the benefits of what your dentist
is recommending, ask her about it.
- Why is this a good thing?
- Why does my child need this?
- What kind of data is behind this?
Especially when there are competing voice about dental habits,
it’s helpful to go to a real professional.
After all, your child’s dental health is that important.
To be sure you are always current on the most important information regarding your child’s health care, sign up for a free membership, if you have not already. And may you and your child enjoy their beautiful smile, for a lifetime. The world is watching. Thank you for caring.
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- Mom’s dental disease connection with premature birth
If you have concerns, from how to find a dentist, how to know when to get a second opinion, how dental disease affects your children’s health, please submit a request via comment or email.
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