4 Tips to Help Your Child With Their First Dental Filling

Even if you do everything possible to maintain the health of your children's teeth, it is possible that they will need dental fillings. Filling a tooth is a great way for a dentist to stop tooth decay in its tracks, but the procedure can be intimidating for someone who has never needed a filling before. Here are a few tips that you can use to help your child with their appointment.

1. Be Positive

Before the appointment, avoid filling your child with dread. Don't tell them that the procedure will hurt or that it could result in the dentist taking out the tooth. If you had bad experiences getting fillings as a child, remember that dentistry has moved on and there are many anaesthetic products that dentists can use to block pain during the procedure. Explain to your child in simple terms what is going to happen: the dentist will add material to the tooth to protect it and make it healthy again.

2. Discuss Pain Relief Options

Dentists typically inject local anaesthetic into the gums to block pain signals before they drill into the decayed tooth. If your child has a needle phobia, this could be the most difficult part of the procedure for them. You can ask your family dentist to use numbing gel on the gums so your child won't feel the sharp pinch of the needle.

3. Consider Sedation Dentistry

If your child has a severe dental phobia or special needs that make it difficult for them to endure a dental procedure, then sedation dentistry might be a good option for them. Dentists have a range of options available for sedating children, ranging from tablets that kids take before the procedure to relax them to a gas called nitrous oxide, which creates a feeling of calmness and well-being. If your child needs extensive dental work, a dentist might even agree to put them under general anaesthetic, although many dentists consider this option to have too many side effects to use for a simple dental filling.

4. Encourage Your Child to Prevent Tooth Decay in Future

After the appointment is a good time to encourage your child to take an interest in dental hygiene. Let them know they can avoid tooth decay in future by flossing their teeth every day, cutting down on the amount of sugar they eat, and brushing thoroughly every morning and evening.

Contact a family dentist to learn more.