Even if you brush your children's teeth regularly, chances are they will need some further dental work at some point in time. Here are seven things you should do when that time arrives:
1. Get a second opinion. If your child needs more than a simple filling, get another opinion. Some dentists are more aggressive and others take more of a "wait and see" approach. Would you prefer to be cautious and put off possible work in hopes that it won't need to be done? Or would you prefer to just get it done now?
In regards to pain management, one may recommend putting your child to sleep, another may think it can be done with laughing gas, one may offer sedatives, and yet another may think Novocain will be enough. You know your child better than the dentist does, so it is important to find out what all of your options are.
2. Choose the time of the appointment wisely. When is your child the happiest during the day? You will want to take them when they are at their peak. Avoid naptime and mealtimes. Make sure they have gone to the bathroom and have had a good snack before the appointment.
3. Bring comfort items. If your child is small, bring their favorite toy, blanket, or stuffed animal. Since the chairs don't quite lay flat, bring a pillow to place under their bum so they don't slide down. They will be a lot more comfortable this way.
4. Turn on a movie. Most dentist offices have this as an option, but if they do not have a TV, you may want to bring a device for them to watch a movie on. You can hold it over their head while they get their work done.
5. Play music. If a movie is not an option (or the work won't last long enough for it to be worth it), bring some music. It will help your child relax and will cover some of the noises of the drill.
6. Offer a reward. Don't underestimate the power of a nice reward. Children are often reluctant to try something new, so promising them a new toy after the appointment may motivate them to cooperate.
7. Explain what the dentist is going to do. Tell them how long it will take, what the dentist will do (avoid using the word "shot"), and how their teeth will look different after (i.e. there will be a new "silver star" or a silver tooth). You can decide how much to share based off of how many details your child wants.
Contact a pediatric dentist at Kids Dental Tree for more ideas.