Top Five Excuses Your Family Makes Not To Go To the Dentist

Are you the family’s director of Health and Human Services? Most moms somehow wind up getting appointed to this position, and sometimes the toughest part of the job is getting your family to go to the dentist. Here’s five excuses you probably hear, and how to address them.

You’ll note these excuses aren’t just coming from kids, either. I’ve also included a few that we hear husbands making. (I should know: My husband has made a few of these too!)

So without further ado, here are the typical excuses you may hear from “the fam”, as well as some tips on how steer them to the examining chair:

1. I’m Too Busy for the Dentist.

Whether it’s a husband always working and traveling for the job, or the child whose schedule is filled with activities, the “too busy” excuse is always used when an appointment won’t fit in their schedule.

How to deal with it:

If your family hates missing work or extracurricular activities, then let them know that if they neglect their teeth that tooth that’s been bothering them for too long, they may end up losing it. That will require a lengthier procedure, and 4-6 weeks for the bone and tissue to heal or not being able to chew on one side of their mouth.

2. I’m Afraid of the Dentist.

Your children will let you know they’re afraid of the dentist, but your husband might also harbor some fears (he just won’t show it.) Either way, they’ll fight you tooth and nail, and may even make you feel like a bad mom because you’re causing them distress.

How to deal with it:

Don’t shoulder this burden alone. Find a dentist who is accustomed to handling anxious patients. For example, we make the entire process move at a pace an anxious family member feels comfortable with. We can even talk to your husband or child on the phone before you make the appointment, explaining how the process works and putting their mind at ease.

3. We Can’t Afford It.

This one likely comes from your husband, especially if you don’t have dental insurance, or if you have a dental insurance deductible, costs could be an issue.

How to deal with it:

Some offices may have a rate reduction for people who don’t have dental insurance (we’re one of them.) CareCredit, which is a financing program for medical issues, is also an option. Money may seem like an issue now, but if you ignore a problem, it will cost you far more down the road to repair it.

4. Sure, I’ll Go, Just Not Right Now.

Ah, the elusive procrastinator. They’ll agree the dentist is a good idea, but then they’ll put you off repeatedly.

How to deal with It:

Let the procrastinator know that the longer they wait, the worse a problem could become. For example, if you have a cavity, and you don’t tend to it, it could get into the nerve. Then you’d need a root canal. The longer you wait, the worse it could get.

5. My Teeth Feel Fine.

This one also tends to come from the husband, especially the busy one who perhaps harbors a little anxiety about a visit to the dentist.

How to deal with it:

Ask your husband how he feels about preventative maintenance. For example, does he get the oil changed on the car, or rotates the tires. His body needs the same time of proactive, preventative maintenance. Remind him that 1 out of 10 people have dental decay, and that it can be avoided with some preventative maintenance.

It feels like we’re just scratching the surface when it comes to typical excuses people give to not visit the dentist. Would you like to share some you’re hearing from your loved ones? We’d love to offer up a positive answer. Just leave us a comment!

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