Despite our best efforts to prevent it, dental decay is a normal part of everyday life and most people will need to have a cavity filling, or more significant treatment for decay, at some point during their lifetime. Unfortunately, children are just as likely to get cavities as adults. In fact, some dentists would argue that they are even more likely to. Children tend to eat diets that contain lots of sugar, and they may not be the best at brushing and flossing their teeth.
Nobody likes the idea of getting dental treatment, least of all your little one. Nevertheless, as their parent, you want to make sure you do everything possible to alleviate your child’s concerns and prevent them from developing a phobia about visiting their dentist. Fortunately, there are a number of things that you can do to prepare your child for their dental filling procedure.
Children look up to their parents, and one of the best ways in which you can help them to deal with getting a filling is to be a good role model for them. Make sure that you are calm and relaxed about their treatment in front of them, even if you don’t feel it on the inside. Don’t make a big deal about the procedure and make sure that they understand that it’s a very normal, everyday treatment that countless people have every day.
It’s always tempting to avoid the hard questions, or to tell a ‘white lie’ to protect our kids, but it’s actually much better for your child if you tell the truth from the outset. Answer any questions that they have honestly and they will thank you for it later. Depending on the age of your child, you may wish to downplay some of the less pleasant parts of the procedure, such as describing the injection as a scratch or pinch instead.
Chances are that you’ve had a cavity filling yourself in the past, and it may help your child to talk about what happened. This normalizes the procedure for them and enables them to see that you weren’t badly affected by what happened. You can explain what to expect before and afterwards in language that your child understands, and they will feel reassured that you are telling the truth about the procedure.
All children respond well to rewards, and what better time to treat your child than after going through a ‘scary’ experience. Obviously, food and sugary treats are to be avoided (your dentist wouldn’t be best pleased either!), but you could take your child out for an activity they enjoy and some special bonding time together or let them pick a new book or magazine. The options are endless!
To better prepare your child for a dental filling procedure, call Colwick Pediatric Dentistry of Cleburne, Texas at (817) 382-3029.