What is a “Knee to knee exam”

A “knee to knee exam” is something we do on our children under 5 who may be uncomfortable in the dental office, or who can’t sit still for more then a few moments at a time. It’s also a great opportunity for parents to learn how to take care of their child’s teeth because of the great angle and view into their child’s mouth.

This position is also a great way for parents, who have another adult or older child at home, to brush the toddlers’ teeth.

How is the knee to knee exam done?

For this exam, the caregiver and provider sit with their knees touching — in fact that is where this exam gets it name! We ask the parent to hug the child facing them, and when they’re ready, gently lay the child back with their head in the dental provider’s lap.

The provider will then stabilize the child’s head, while the parent holds the child’s hands. It’s very important that the caregiver holds the child’s hands so they don’t grab instruments that may hurt them. The child’s legs are also wrapped around the caregiver.

Dr. Jen demonstrates Knee to Knee exam with mom and child

This child and Mom are doing a great job of demonstrating this knee to knee position.

From this position, we can perform an exam, brush teeth, polish teeth, floss, and even apply fluoride!

When we’re all done, the child simply sits up and gets hugs. What a great reward for a job well done?! Another benefit to the knee to knee position, is that on our more spirited patients, this exam takes less than 2 minutes!

Do you have an anxious, active child?

If so, call our office and ask us about a knee to knee exam to make sure their dental health is in check! Just click the book appointment button below.