One morning when my son was about a year old, he had a fever and obviously didn’t feel well. It wasn’t much of a fever and he wasn’t having major issues but I could tell something wasn’t right. After much internal debate I decided to take him to see the pediatrician. I wasn’t sure if my timing was right or if I had good reason to go and I was afraid I would be wasting my time as well as the doctor’s… but I went anyway. As luck would have it, the doctor on call was the pediatrician who founded the group 40 years ago. He was obviously seasoned and accomplished – an impressive and imposing man! I explained the situation and my indecision. Without missing a beat he walked across the exam room, put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Son, you did the right thing”.  I was blown away by how relieved I was by that simple statement.

 Then I started thinking about all the young parents who bring their young kids to our office only to be told, “She’s too young for braces… come see us again in ___”.

 In that moment I realized that I’d been making parents feel bad for YEARS by dismissing them without proper validation or explanation! No more. These days I start out every single new patient exam with, “You did the right thing to come see us!” The impact is colossal. Try it and see for yourself!


2 thoughts on “You Did The Right Thing!

  1. I read/heard this suggestion a few years ago. Now I always include “You did the right thing by bringing (patient name). You’ll leave here today with a plan or peace of mind.”
    I agree that it helps build rapport and is validation for the parent.

  2. Excellent suggestion! A lot of changes is happening at early dentition with growth and environmental factors that could modify the correct way of normality. Most of the parents need an simple explanation about the development of the dentition like early lower incisors crowding and open space at the upper incisors during the intertransitional period. There is an AAO publication: “Orthodontics – A patient Education Guide” , edited by Dr. Jack Dale, that can help and easily expalin to your patients.

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