If you have recently been told your child has a cavity, you are not alone. Dental caries is more common among young children than any other chronic illness, including asthma and diabetes. In fact, at least 4 million preschoolers suffer from tooth decay, which is an increase of more than 600,000 kids in the last decade. Poor brushing and flossing may be likely that your child’s high sugar consumption is contributing to tooth decay. Your dentist can help determine the specific measures you need to take as a parent to prevent future cavities in your child. However, if the damage is done, here are some helpful ways you can prepare your child for getting a filling.
Keep it Positive: A dental filling procedure can be quite scary for a child. Emphasize how lucky your child is to have a good dentist that will fix his tooth. This is not the time to blame poor brushing habits or punish a child.
Be Honest But Careful: Most of a child’s anxiety is on the unexpected, especially if this is his first time getting a filling. Explain what will happen at the appointment including sights and sounds your child will experience. However, be careful to avoid frightening words like “shot”, “needle”, or “hurt”. Instead, use terms such as “little poke” or “sleepy juice for your tooth.”
Share Your Story: Most parents have had a cavity and had to get a filling as a child. You can bring your child a lot of comfort by sharing your own personal experience and positive outcome from a filling procedure.
Give Your Child Control: Simply allowing your child to wear a certain outfit they pick out or bring a favorite stuffed animal can give your child a feeling of control and reduce anxiety about the dental filling appointment.
Plan A Reward: Talk to your child about what you can do afterwards as a fun reward, such as going to the park, a favorite treat or setting up a special play date with a friend.
Gilreath Family Dentistry works hard to make children feel comfortable and at ease during their dental appointments. A caring dentist and a calm parent can greatly improve your child’s attitude towards getting a cavity filled.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV,