Okinawa Island Guide

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Okinawa Island Guide

Sakura Dental Clinic

   Five-year-old Jaden in for a bit of grill maintenance courtesy of Dr. Ohmine. His smile says it all


Winning her over

The parents said it was her first visit to the dentist. The little girl with the two cavities was 4 years old at the time and fussing. To their credit, the parents – foreign residents from the US – wheedled and cajoled her all the way to the chair before she burst into tears and clamped her jaws shut with the resolve of a sobbing Nile crocodile.

Experience with scores of little mouths told the staff at Sakura Dental Clinic (most have kids of their own) that there would be no fillings for this patient today – let alone the two that she needed. Still, they knew what to do. By using encouragement in English, a few laughs and a "don't push" attitude, the staff gradually eased the small patient's fears and got her to open her mouth wide enough for a gentle cleaning. The hygienist gave her a toy for being so brave and promised to fill one of her cavities next time when she was a little more grown up.

“She came back sooner than we expected,” said dental assistant Mika. “She didn't cry this time, and by the time Dr. Ohmine got to her she was talking a lot.” Mika went on to say that when her cavity was filled and everybody was telling her how grown up she behaved, she was so proud of herself. By her third visit, she was all smiles right from the start.

How scary is the dentist now?

“Her father came back to the office for his insurance paperwork,” said Mika. “He said: 'You guys are awesome!' His daughter wouldn't stop talking about us. She was showing off her new fillings and telling everybody about how she went to the dentist.”