Children and the dentist are a famously volatile mix. Getting kids to get comfortable with the idea of going to the dentist, along with getting them to play along once they’re there, can be a famously difficult process. Below, we cover tips for preparing your kid for a cavity filling.
This is doubly so when there is serious or uncomfortable dental work to be done, like a cavity filling. However, even kids can be made to recognize that as scary as the dentist might be, not dealing with a cavity is even worse.
Preparing Your Kid for a Cavity Filling
If you’re gearing up to take your child in for a cavity filling, or are just interested in knowing about what you might do to get ready, take a look at this guide to the process.
What Exactly Is a Cavity?
A cavity is an abscess that forms on a tooth due to the presence of bacteria. Cavities tend to form in environments of poor oral hygiene, which causes cavity-forming bacteria to thrive and multiply. These bacteria create acids that eat away at the enamel of the teeth, and this eventually forms a cavity.
It’s quite common for cavities to form in the mouths of babies and children. The problem is exacerbated by those in the low-income bracket. Teens are also prone to having cavities – some studies have shown that over half of teens suffer from cavities in their permanent teeth.
Cavities sound intimidating and can be quite painful and inconvenient. However, they don’t have to be the end of the world, as filling a cavity is quite a common dental routine.
The Primary Causes of Cavities
Threats to the teeth are everywhere in today’s modern world. Some of the sugariest and most damaging foods for children’s teeth are specifically marketed towards kids, for example. Some of the other common threats to a child’s tooth include:
- Poor dental hygiene that encourages bacteria growth
- Low amounts of saliva
- Mouth breathing
- Certain medical conditions
- Poor oral health routines
- Drinking unflouridated water
The Process of Filling a Cavity
Children and infants receive a cavity filling much in the same way that an adult does. The process requires the same steps, which are generally as follows:
- First, the dentist removes the existing decay
- The dentist fills the hole that is left with a composite or metal material
- Finally, the dentist applies the tooth-colored fillings to the target tooth
Dentists take several precautionary steps in order to ensure that a patient remains as comfortable as possible during this procedure. Local anesthetic is applied to numb the area of the mouth where the procedure takes place.
In addition, topical anesthetic jelly is applied on the child’s cheek and gums so they won’t even feel the needle of the local anesthetic. Also, in some cases, nitrous oxide may be offered by the dentist to help the children relax. In addition, a dentist will only use tools specifically outfitted for performing procedures on a child’s mouth.
Preparing a Child for a Cavity Filling
There are certain steps you can take to make sure that your child’s cavity procedure goes as smoothly as possible. Some of the most important ones are as follows:
- Assuage their fear and anxiety: Recognizing the validity of your child’s fear with regard to the procedure is key to helping them ease through it. It’s completely understandable that a child would feel uneasy in the dentist’s chair.
- Stay calm: Children are sensitive and will be able to sense if you yourself feel uneasy about the upcoming procedure. Because of this, you should put some effort into remaining calm throughout the procedure.
- Pick the right dentist: Picking the right individual for your child’s needs is absolutely key to giving the the right treatment and making them feel comfortable. Do a little research into your local options to determine who is qualified to take on the procedure.
- Tell them what’s going to happen: Laying out a brief explanation of exactly what is to occur during your child’s procedure will likely assuage much of their anxiety surrounding their root canal treatment. In addition, it can help you prepare to be there for them. If your child is curious about specific elements of the procedure, you might be better off having your dentist explain it. Pediatric dentists are trained to have these conversations with children.
The Right Dentist for Hollywood
Victory Plaza Dental is widely regarded as the most trusted North Hollywood dentist. We specialize in children’s dentistry, so don’t hesitate to reach out to schedule an appointment if you would like to discuss your options.