My Child has a Cavity, Now What?
Your child has a cavity, now what? It is normal to experience some anxiety when your pediatric dentist tells you that your child needs to have some dental work done. First things first, take a deep breath and relax; things like this happen and by no means is it a reflection on your parenting skills. Sit back and read on for our best advice regarding what to do when your child has a cavity and as always, should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to give our office a call at 716-648-2020.
1. Know Your Options.
When your pediatric dentist comes to you and says your child has a cavity, he or she may have several treatment option in mind. Ask. Know what your options are. In many cases, the dentist may simply say they would like to watch it. They may suggest specific toothpaste with higher levels of fluoride or they may suggest a filling. If your provider suggests a filling on a baby tooth and you wonder why (because it will just fall out someday) it may be because the cavity is at risk of spreading to the adult tooth next to it or it may be because they know the cavity will likely cause your child pain if left untreated. Whatever the case may be, know your options.
2. Little Ears are Listening
While it is appropriate to have a chat with your children about dental procedures and what to expect, we ask you to keep it to a minimum and use kid friendly terms. Please never use the word drill or extraction and instead try using phrases like “the dentist is going to wash the sugar bugs off your teeth”, or “they are going to use numbing juice and paint flowers on your teeth”.
3. Is Nitrous Oxide an Option?
Ask your pediatric dentist if your child is a candidate for nitrous oxide. Nitrous Oxide is more commonly known as laughing gas and is used as a local sedation method. Nitrous oxide is very safe for children and your dentist may suggest it should they feel that your child would benefit from it.
4. Support From Afar
We typically encourage a very hands on approach between parents and our young patients in our practice to make our patients much more at ease during cleanings. With that said, sometimes having the parents in the room during dental treatments can have a less then ideal effect on the patients. Young children can often be distracted and influenced by their parents being in the room because they can see your reactions and sense your discomfort. Calmness before, during and after should be front and center and for that reason, sometimes it is best if you wait in the waiting room.
5. Provide Comfort
Children often tell us the worst part about the treatment is the numbness they feel after the procedure is done. It is important during this time to reassure your child that the feeling is only temporary and it will go away shortly. Provide comfort by assuring them that this is a normal feeling and before you know it, it will be gone.