Pediatric dentistry is an area of dentistry that focuses on the oral health of children. Starting good dental hygiene habits early in life is important. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states, more than 50% of children under the age of nine have had at least one cavity in their baby teeth, and…
Tips for Treating Your Child’s First Cavity
It is absolutely reasonable to be apprehensive if you discover your child has a cavity. Some parents wave it off if the child is not experiencing pain; after all, it is a baby tooth. Parents are sometimes concerned that cavity filling may be painful or devastating for the children and therefore try to delay or avoid the treatment if they can.
What they do not realize is that saving or treating the baby’s teeth is crucial. This article provides tips for parents on how they can treat their children for cavities.
Why is treatment important?
If the dentist has discovered a cavity and recommends treatment, you can be confident that that is the best action to take. If the cavity is little and only present on the first layer (the enamel) of the tooth, the pediatric dentist may suggest delaying the treatment to see if the cavity gradually develops or to allow the child get a bit older and more relaxed with dental care. The dentist will let you know the reason, but in most cases, immediate treatment is advisable.
Preparing your child for the dental visit
Help your child feel comfortable — If you want to ensure an easy treatment, do not prepare your child by threatening them with harsh words or scary language like "shots" or "drills." This will prepare their mind to expect the worst, and instill fear before they reach the dental office. Reassure them that they are visiting the dentist to clean their teeth. The dentist is experienced with explaining the process in an informative, truthful and non-threatening way. Yet, some children prefer to know exactly what they are up against. You can also read them dental books to help them understand what to expect when visiting a dentist.
Do not miss the dentist appointment — On the appointment date, arrive 30 minutes ahead of time in case of necessary documentation in the dental office. You will be invited into the treatment room depending on the child’s age, level of anxiety, your level of anxiety and the child’s behavior in your presence.
Calm your fears — In some cases, some children do not behave properly when the parent is around. And if you have dental anxiety, you may not be allowed into the treatment room because you might cause your child to have anxiety too. Preferably, you should discuss with your dentist to know what action to take to ensure the best treatment.
Here is what you should know
During the treatment, the dentist will apply numbing gel around the area if necessary to reduce pain. The dentist will constantly ensure the child’s comfort throughout the treatment. After the treatment, the child may be rewarded for being attentive and calm.
For aftercare, the dentist will suggest ways to prevent future occurrences and to protect the tooth. After that, you will need to decide your next doctor’s appointment. If you have questions or concerns, feel free to inform the dentist to get reassuring answers.
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