Pollywog Kids Make Me Smile

June 10, 2024, Kyle Isaacs

Some might be because of past traumas in their lives, and for others, their brains are just constantly thinking. I never want to squash those ideas, even if they seem farfetched.

When we do sealants, one or two dental hygienists provide care. The kids come in two, three, or even four of them at a time. For some, it is their first dental experience, and because they are with friends and in a place with familiar faces, the experience is easier for them. Sometimes, the kids are quiet and seem a little fearful. They will sit in chairs close to where we are doing the sealants. We use a mixing-type machine that mixes the little sealant capsule. It is a bit noisy, and we tell them it is like the paint mixer at the hardware store. The other day, one kid asked if we were using a chainsaw! That was a first, and it was because of the noise of the titurator or mixing machine. This machine is about the size of a small toaster, and it mixes the sealant material in a small capsule. We quickly explained this to the kids so as to not promote fear and misinformation spreading around the school! It was funny. The little capsules we use have red plastic on one end. One time, a kid came into the room and was sitting there for a few minutes and then asked if that was blood. We brought a capsule over to show him that it was not blood but only the color of the plastic sealant capsule.

Often, kids will say they are scared. I always ask them why so that I can know how to help them. I once had a reluctant girl of about 8 or 9 years old. She told me she was scared, and I asked her why. She said because she didn’t know me. I said that was true and proceeded to get to know her. I explained everything we would do and showed her everything we would use. I asked if we could do the first step, which was to only look with my eyes, and she said yes. Then I asked if I could look with my mirror, and she was fine with that. We did this until we did one sealant. I asked about some things about what she liked to do, what grade she was in, and other things that were interesting to her. When we were done, I told her how brave she was and how proud I was of her. Then I said, guess what? Now we know each other!

Many kids come in wondering if we will give them a shot or pull a tooth. For some, this might be something they have already experienced, and for others, stories they have heard from family and friends. Some kids say they don’t like going to the dentist. I say, well, guess what? I am not a dentist, and we all laugh! Whatever we can do to lighten the nervousness some kids experience. Some kids have had great dental experiences, so they jump in the chair with their mouths open before I can get my gloves on my hands. They are proud of themselves! I have had some kids go first to show their friends who might be more reluctant, which helps. There have been other times when kids will say positive things to a friend who might be scared, encouraging them to be brave. Often, we say it’s easy, and one day, we were at a school where the kids told us that their teacher says never to say something is easy because if it isn’t easy for someone, they may feel bad. So, I have had to teach myself to say this will be quick, which it is.

If I suggest they start flossing, I have heard some kids say: “My mom/dad never flosses!” When I am at the children’s clinic, I have heard many times that they don’t have any floss or their toothbrush is missing, and then the parent will peek their head into the room and say we have lots at home. Hmmmmm….

And with that, here are a few jokes:

What dinosaur is a dental hygienist’s favorite? Floss-o-raptor!

What is the best time of day to go to the dental office? Tooth Day!