It is never too early to start a good oral hygiene with your child. But no matter how well you take care of your child's teeth and gums, there is a chance that he or she may get a cavity. Don't beat yourself up about it-- some kids can have softer enamel on their teeth, which makes them prone to cavities. But how your child reacts to having his or her first cavity filled can depend on how you deal with the situation. Use the following tips to prepare your child for his or her first filling:
Use Positive Words
Children are very impressionable, and even from a young age they can pick up on negative words associated with an experience. If your child needs a filling, try to avoid using the words hurt, ouchie, pain, or anything else that has a negative connotation. You may be saying "It won't hurt," or "The dentist is just fixing an ouchie in your tooth," but a young child is likely to focus on the words "hurt" and "ouchie," which can make him or her very nervous or stressed about having a dental procedure.
Choose a Pediatric Dentist
Pediatric dental offices, such as Apollo Dental Center, cater to children, so the whole environment typically has a bright, cheerful ambiance that puts children at ease. Most pediatric dental offices have toys or games in the waiting room, which can distract a child and get his or her mind off of the fact that one or more cavities are getting filled. A pediatric dentist is also usually more equipped and skilled in treating children; in addition to 4 years of dental school, a pediatric dentist must also complete 2 years of extra training focusing on dentistry for infants, kids, and teenagers.
Consider Consenting to Something to Help Your Child Relax
Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, is often available to help children with dental anxiety to relax and distract them from the procedure. As a parent, you will have to consent to the use of nitrous oxide during your child's tooth filling, but it may be very helpful in keeping your child calm and in control.
Set the Example
The majority of parents do not like to see their young child stressed, scared, or uncomfortable. But when it comes to pediatric dental work, staying as calm as possible is best for your kid. If your child sees you getting upset when consulting with the dentist about fillings, that will only make him or her feel more uncomfortable and scared.