Going to the dentist can be an unsettling event for children. How much more so if they need a filling? But the fact is that about 27 percent of kids will have a cavity by the time they are five years old. If your child has a cavity, then you may have some questions about tooth fillings. Read on for answers from your dentist in Springfield.
What Should You Tell Your Child?
As with most topics regarding medical or dental health, the best approach is a limited one. Make sure you keep the conversation simple and upbeat. Never use words that can frighten a child, such as needle, shot, drill or “hurt a little.” The dentist and his staff will use special vocabulary to simply explain what is happening and talk your child through the process in a way they can understand.
Can My Child Eat Before the Appointment?
Don’t let your child have a big meal within six hours of an appointment for a filling. The reason is that the anesthesia we give can relax the muscles that keep food and acid in the stomach and out of your child’s lungs.
Also, be sure to have your child brush his or her teeth before coming to the office. This will remove any leftover food trapped around the tooth that needs a filling.
What Happens During the Treatment?
Placing the filling should not take more than an hour from start to finish. Your dentist may use a technique known as tell-show-do. Using easy-to-understand words that are not scary, the dentist near me explains to your child what will happen and the tools he will use. Then, the work begins.
What Kind of Care is Needed After a Filling?
Some sensitivity and even swelling around the tooth are normal. Until the local anesthesia wears off, your child may accidentally bite their tongue or lip. To help prevent this from happening, limit your child’s diet to soft foods that do not require heavy chewing.
You can also give children’s acetaminophen or ibuprofen if your child seems uncomfortable. A cold compress can also help alleviate the feeling of numbness.
Finally, talk to your dentist in Springfield about dental sealants. These create a physical barrier between teeth and the bacteria and acids that can lead to future cavities and fillings.
Is your child scheduled to have a filling? Call the office if you have additional questions.
Meet the Doctor
Dr. James Mace is a dentist in Washington, MO. He and his staff are committed to ensuring the health, beauty and longevity of your smile. If you’d like to learn more about tooth-colored fillings or another service, contact us today.