If your child is in need of a filling — don’t panic! Your dentist will talk you and your child through the procedure. Here are a few extra pointers to take into account if your child needs a filling:
Be careful with your words
It is important that you don’t scare your child before they have the procedure. That is only going to make them more nervous. You want to be supportive, so avoid words such as ‘drill’ or ‘painful’, especially if this is their first filling. As well as this, try and steer clear of phrases such as ‘you have to be brave.’ It’s only going to make your child more anxious if they don’t know what they have to be brave for.
You want to make visiting the dentist as easy as possible, so try not to associate the dentist or the surgery as a scary or bad place.
What does the procedure involve?
Most dental fillings are done using local anesthetic to numb the side of the mouth. Your child’s dentist may put a little numbing gel on the gum before injecting the anesthetic to prevent any pain.
Once the side of the mouth is fully numb, the dentist will begin the procedure by removing any decay in the tooth using a drill or small, handheld scraping tool.
Once the tooth is cleaned out, the dentist will fill the cavity with a filling, this can be made of amalgam (silver filling) or be a composite (tooth-coloured filling).
The dentist will then ask your child to bite their teeth together to ensure that the filling fits. If your child can feel the filling when they bite, your dentist might file it down to make the filling level with their other teeth.
How can you help prevent your child from needig a filling?
It is important as a parent to make sure that your child’s oral hygiene routine is kept in check. Remember that their milk teeth have to last until the adult teeth come through, so you want them to remain intact. It might mean that you have to supervise your child when they brush and floss to ensure they have the correct technique. Early warning signs of tooth decay might be a darkening of tooth enamel. If you see cavity in the tooth, the decay has already significantly progressed.
Make sure that they are brushing and flossing twice a day, morning and night. Limit the amount of sugary foods you give them and avoid offering fizzy drinks. Book your child in for a checkup at least twice a year to ensure that there are no cavities and their mouth is clean and healthy. To find out more on how to look after your children’s teeth, click here.
About The Author
Dr. Chig Amin is the owner and principal dentist of the Epsom Dental Centre. Dr. Amin practises gentle dentistry and ensures that all of his patients receive the dental care that best meets their needs.