Tips for Preparing Your Child for Their First Dental Filling
Kids can be finicky about going to the dentist for treatments. You are smart to expect some anxiety when you tell them that they need to be treated for their first cavity. Understandably, your child may have some fear. This is natural anytime we ask kids to do something new. Today we want to empower you with the tools that will ensure a more pleasant dental experience for your child. At Surfside Kids Dental, our goal is to help turn that anxiety into a positive learning experience for your child.
When preparing your child for their first dental filling, here are some great tips that can make the trip to your pediatric dentist less of a hassle:
- Tell your child that whatever discomfort he’s feeling due to his cavity will go away once the filling is complete. Most young children can already make the decision as to which is better — having their tooth hurting frequently, or having a quick treatment at the dentist to put a halt to the toothache.
- If you can remember the feeling of getting a dental filling, describe how it doesn’t hurt at all. Be completely honest about some discomforts due to keeping their mouth open but that the actual procedure is relatively painless. Your truthfulness will have a positive impact on your child’s experience.
- It never hurts to plan on treating your child to something after having his tooth filled without any problems. Kids love rewards for good behavior. Ask them if there’s something they want to do after the trip to the dentist and include that in the day’s itinerary. That will give your child something to look forward to even if he’s feeling a bit unsettled about the treatment. This probably goes without saying but you should avoid treats as a reward.
- You can prepare a small child by introducing toys that will provide him an idea of what will happen when he gets his tooth filled. Learning through play is highly preferred by young children. There are different toys on the market that are perfect for preparing your child for the treatment such as Play-Doh Dr. Drill ‘n Fill and Lego Dentist with Patient. These toys can help your child create “associations,” especially when he’s already undergoing the treatment.
- Be a calm about the whole thing. Do your best to make everything about the procedure feel light so your child won’t associate it with anything negative. Now, if your child is particularly anxious, do take time to discuss with the dentist the options available for sedation dentistry.
There are still many other ways for you to prepare your child for the procedure. Try the tips here, for starters, and see which ones are the most effective. If your child is old enough, we recommend every child have dental sealants done to prevent future cavities. Be sure and ask your Surfside staff about how they work on your next visit.
Until Next Time…Be Radical Surfers!