Your Child’s First Filling - What to Expect

Your Child’s First Filling – What to Expect

Finding out your child has a cavity might surprise or even confuse you because of how much effort you have put into their daily oral hygiene routine. Well, don’t beat yourself up too much! According to the ADA, cavities are the most common oral issue in children and any pediatric dentist can confirm this fact with how full their appointment book is every day.

There is a relatively high chance that your child will experience a cavity.  In fact 50% of children will have their first cavity by the age of six. So in order to be prepared, today we will go over some tips for making this dental experience more comfortable and stress-free for you and your child, as well as what you can expect when they come in for their appointment.

Stay Calm and Positive 

One of the most important things to remember is to help keep your child calm and stress-free during their first visit. You can help them by keeping calm yourself and expressing how normal and routine getting a cavity filled is. . 

The great thing about seeing a pediatric dentist is that they are trained in knowing how to keep children comfortable and occupied during their dental appointment. They will have different magazines, toys and other equipment in their office to keep the child preoccupied  and entertained during the visit. 

Make sure that after the appointment you tell your child how proud you are and how well they did even if they had a harder time. Always reinforce positivity so they don’t associate the dentist with negative or upsetting feelings. This goes a long way to ensuring their oral health long-term, as eliminating fear of the dentist will keep them coming back when they are supposed to long into their adult years.

Keep Your Child Informed

Knowledge is power, and this is true even with a routine dental procedure. Children are naturally inquisitive and may want to ask you many questions, so make sure to answer them with the best of your abilities or with your dentist’s help, emphasizing the positive aspects of getting a cavity filled and leaving out the more detailed parts of the procedure. 

Explain to them any pain or discomfort is temporary and the filling is necessary to make sure that they have strong teeth  and to avoid any further problems with the tooth (or teeth) in the future. This can also be a great time to teach them about how sugary foods and sodas can harm their teeth, and inspire them to reach for healthier alternatives come snack time. 

Get to Know Your Child’s Dentist

The best way to stay informed and know how the procedure will go is to get acquainted with your child’s dentist, chat with them before the procedure, and make sure to get all your questions as a parent answered beforehand.. The dentist is able to fill you in on any and all information regarding your upcoming appointment and can help you understand exactly what to expect beforehand so you can make sure both you and your child are prepared.

Preparing For Your Appointment

  • No matter if your child has baby teeth or their adult teeth, if there’s a cavity it must be treated. The first step is making an appointment with your pediatric dentist.
  • Speak with the dentist about what kind of filling your child needs. You could do a composite, metal, or crown. These all depend on how severe the cavity is and how well you want the filling to be blended into the natural tooth. The most common is composite.
  • Once your child is in the chair, make sure they are calm and do your best to be positive and supportive throughout the appointment.
  • A local anesthetic to the area will be used to numb the tooth that has the cavity to make it pain-free for your child. In some circumstances, the dentist will use nitrous oxide (laughing gas) if the child is feeling a little stressed or anxious or can’t sit still. This is perfectly safe and not a cause for concern. 
  • Next, the dentist will remove all traces of decay from the tooth, fill the tooth and then immediately seal the tooth with sealant.
  • Your child’s mouth will be numb for a little bit, so make sure to let them know not to bite down or try to speak too much. Keep them encouraged and let them know they’re doing a great job and that the numbing sensation will be gone shortly. 
  • Consult with the dentist about aftercare. They may recommend child aspirin or ibuprofen for any pain associated with the filling.
  • Now the filling is done! The composite will stay until the adult teeth come in or if it’s done on adult teeth it will last at least five years and up to 10 years! 

Make sure to always schedule an appointment with your dentist every six months for a cleaning and a check up. Cavities happen to the best of us, but with regular preventative measures your child can look forward to a cavity free future.

Trust Chillicothe Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric dental care is a partnership between parents and an experienced child’s dentist. 

At Chillicothe Pediatric Dentistry, we provide friendly dental care and education to parents and children alike. Our pediatric dental team is caring and capable, and we offer regular examinations, primary care, preventative care, restorative dentistry, emergency and sedation dentistry. 

Reach out to us now and begin building a healthy future for your child’s smile.