No one likes to hear that they have a cavity, but children tend to get especially upset about it. Here are some ways you can help prepare your child for getting a filling, and turn the situation into a learning opportunity.
Finding out that your child has a cavity is never welcome. Children can sometimes get very upset about it, and parents tend to experience feelings of guilt.
While a cavity is never a good thing, you can help make the process of getting a filling more positive for your child, and turn the situation into a learning experience for you both.
Step one: stop feeling guilty!
Despite best efforts, cavities sometimes just happen.
The important thing is that the dentist has located the cavity, and can therefore repair it. And also on the bright side, now you and your child both know which spots in his or her mouth need more attention during the at-home dental hygiene routine.
Be calm, cool and collected.
When you talk to you child about getting a filling, do your best to remain calm, confident, and positive. Don't try to frame the situation as a punishment for not brushing well enough. Just explain that, ‘from now on, we have to make sure we clean each and every tooth even better than before!’
Prepare your child for the filling appointment with clear, age-appropriate language.
Depending on the age of your child when the first cavity occurs, the words you use to explain what will happen during the filling procedure will vary. For younger children, just explain that ‘the dentist is going to clean the sugar bugs out of the tooth,’ and leave it at that.
For older kids, explain that the dentist will clean out the area and patch it up, and that at worst, it can be a little awkward or uncomfortable.
If your child is highly anxious, consider dental sedation.
At Smile Town Langley, we provide sedation options for children who feel extra nervous or scared about their dental procedures.
Get in touch with our office to discuss whether sedation is right for your child.
Use the situation as a learning experience.
Now that you know that your child’s oral hygiene routine needs some work, you can teach your child how focus more attention on the problem area. The dentist and dental hygienist can also provide valuable brushing and flossing tips, so be sure to use them as a resource!