Getting to a dentist after several months and hearing them say that your kid’s teeth is bad and needs a filling can be nerve racking. It is what we often have to convey to unsuspecting parents who come for a routine checkup.
Filling a caried teeth is stressful for parents and children. It involves cleaning teeth and filling it, so that the spread of caries can be stopped. Caries is even seen sometimes in kids who are regular brushers and careful about what junk they eat. Besides, bad dental hygiene, inadequate chloride, shape of teeth and even parent’s dental history are common contributors.
If you’ve found your kid’s teeth caried and don’t know how to tackle it with the little one, Dr.Premila shares some crucial things that parents can convey so as not to frighten or stress the child.
Help ‘De-Stress’ Your Child’s Dental Visits with these 4 Tips
1. POSITIVE ATTITUDE : Drilling a bad tooth and filling can scare even the oldest among us, but with children it is important to be sensitive to their needs and the way they perceive it. Being calm, cool and confident along with providing children with just basic information is enough to get them prepared without giving all the other details. Framing the experience in pain (It might HURT a little) or punishment (You DIDN’T BRUSH well, so this happened) will be bad for the child who will dread it before it even happens.
Books on teeth, rhymes or puppetry help calm children and prepare them for a visit to the dentist.
2. CALMNESS : As a parent you may be stressed out crazy or are afraid of any medical procedures in general. However this must not be passed on to the child. Filling and cleaning of caried teeth in children varies from one child to the other. Some take less time and some more. It is important for calm parents to accompany their child. The rest is taken care of by us, since there’s a TV, colourful animated wall art and toys that we keep kids engaged with in the clinic.
The filling and treatment is also dependent on which teeth are damaged. Front teeth and baby teeth next to a permanent one, need to be treated and filled since their caries can spread. However baby teeth that will be falling off need not be touched. If a child’s caries has reached the dentin – area under the tooth enamel – treatment will be required.
3. USE RIGHT WORDS : Drills, needles and pokes are words that you may casually use, but with your child watching and listening, it may scare them as to what’s actually happening and what does happen at a dentist’s clinic. Never keep the truth away from them, but use language that won’t scare them too. ‘Sugar Spot’ is one term we use for a cavity, and there are others that as paediatric dentist’s we advise which can be used whenever describing things to kids.
4. SHARE YOUR DENTAL STORIES: All of us have dental stories, some of them pleasant, some unpleasant. It is important to share these with kids, so that they empathise and understand what goes on with their teeth. Caries is something that we could have probably faced in our childhood, either due to bad brushing or eating much sweets. Sharing this with our kids just makes parents seem more human, condition more treatable and acts as learning for them to never repeat the same. The bonding that happens will drive the message more clearly than any book or media.