You are on the ball when it comes to helping your young child brush their teeth. Every day, twice a day. Way to go! You are setting a good example and encouraging good dental hygiene all at the same time. So, your child’s next dentist appointment should be all sunshine and rainbows, right?
Unfortunately, no. The dentist informs you that Junior has kid cavities.
How did that happen?
Tooth decay is a very common condition among preschoolers. This disease, known as dental caries, is caused by the presence of bacteria in the mouth that feeds on the sugar left on teeth and produces acid, which eats away at tooth enamel. Regular brushing helps prevent caries, but you need to watch out for other cavity-causing factors as well such as constant snacking, too much juice, drinking bottled water instead of fluoridated tap water, and not going in for routine check-ups because they are so young.
So now that your child has a cavity, what next?
Even though those baby teeth are going to fall out anyways, you need to have the dentist treat the kid cavities. Here is the best way the approach treatment when your little one has a cavity.
Take a breath
First and foremost, process the situation and work towards the solution. Find out as much information as you can from the dentist about how much of the tooth’s surface needs to be restored, what materials are going to be used for the filling , and what their recommended plan of action is for treating your child. Forewarned is forearmed, and the last thing you want is for your child to become anxious because you are anxious.
Tell, show, do
One of the best approaches for relieving anxiety in kids is the good ol’ “tell, show, do” method. Start off by explaining to your child what is about to happen and why it is necessary. Have the dentist walk your child through the procedure, demonstrating each step so your child knows exactly what to expect. If you and the dentist decide to employ some kind of pain management technique like nitrous oxide, oral sedation, or general anesthesia, then demonstrate what that will involve as well. Then, let the dentist get to work. In many cases, “tell, show, do” is enough to relieve anxiety in your kiddo.
Employ preventative measures
Tooth decay is a highly preventable disease, so now that you know your son or daughter is prone to cavities, it might be a good idea to switch up your routine by:
- Making sure your child eats a well-balanced diet
- Limiting or eliminating sugary drinks and snacks
- Giving them fluoridated water instead of juice to drink
- Asking your dentist about dental sealants that could be applied to the teeth
- Scheduling routine check-ups every 6 months
- Optimizing your child’s brushing and flossing regime
Zen Dental truly understands the importance of establishing early oral habits, so if you have any questions regarding your child’s oral health, please don’t hesitate to give our Seattle office a call today!
Protect your children from cavities by calling 206-926-8818 to schedule an appointment!