How to prepare your kid for his or her first filling – tips for Greensboro, NC parents
Filling a cavity is a straightforward, routine dental procedure, as most adults know. However, to a kid having his or her first dental procedure, it can be quite intimidating. Dr. Sona J. Isharani is a Board-certified pediatric dentist, known for her clinical excellence and gentle touch. Greensboro, NC parents often ask her advice about how to help nervous children prepare for their first filling or other dental treatment.
Talking to your child
Kids have questions, usually lots of them. Genuine, honest answers will help them feel more comfortable and confident. However, too many intimidating, unfamiliar, or negative words can have the opposite effect, making kids more nervous. Instead, try to use simple, positive language and words that your child will easily understand.
The dental filling procedure translated to kid-friendly terms:
- Exam and x-rays – The nice people will look in your mouth, and they might even take pictures of your teeth.
- Numbing injections – They’ll use a magic wand to make your mouth sleepy.
- Removing decay and filling the tooth– Dr. Sona will clean out all the sugar spots, and then fix your tooth.
- Aftercare – Your mouth is going to feel funny for a little while until it wakes up.
Keep appointment day positive
Maybe your kid has been snacking too much and refusing to floss. It might be tempting to say something like, “this is what happens when you don’t take care of your teeth.” However, that will just frighten the child, and make him or her think that a dental procedure is a terrible consequence. When discussing oral hygiene, explain that it keeps the mouth healthy and prevents disease (the goal isn’t avoiding the dentist).
It’s best to save the lectures and stern talks for another day. When it comes time for the dental appointment, keep it upbeat and encouraging. It can be helpful to bring a comfort item such as a favorite teddy bear. Many parents plan a fun outing after treatment is complete, which reinforces the positive theme.
Share your own experiences selectively
Chances are, you’ve had one or more dental fillings in your lifetime. Sharing your experience and letting your child know that fillings are common can be helpful. However, if you are among the many adults with dental anxiety, be careful that you don’t share that as well. You might be more nervous than your child, but it’s important to appear calm and confident.
We understand that early experiences create the foundation for life-long oral health habits. That is why we encourage parents to cultivate positive attitudes, making brushing, flossing, and dental visits fun. That is also why we ensure that every treatment is gentle, every member of our team is friendly, and our office is always welcoming. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call Sona J. Isharani, DDS at (336) 804-8668.