We’ve all heard the expression, “Kids will be kids.” Their antics can be hilarious and fun, and at other times, they can be enough to cause any parent a headache. So, when it comes to a trip to the dentist, especially if your child is in need of a dental filling to treat tooth decay, it’s no wonder that parents may feel some anxiety? How will my child act? Will they behave? Will they open their mouth for the dentist? These are all common questions parents tend to ask themselves on the drive to the dental office.

But we’re here to tell you that it is possible to create stress-free dental appointments. Read on, and we’ll tell you how it’s done.

What are dental fillings?

Before we get into those helpful tips and tricks to create a stress-free dental appointment, let’s find out what dental fillings are in the first place. Dental fillings are the primary treatment for small cavities in your teeth.

Basically, the dentist removes the affected portion of the tooth and replaces it with filling material, either tooth-colored (commonly referred to as composite), or silver-colored (amalgam). A We Make Kids Smile dentist in Prince Frederick will decide the type of filling material to use based on where the filling is needed in your child’s mouth.

When the dentist is finished, the filling feels just like the natural tooth, albeit without the pain and discomfort from the pre-existing tooth decay. And, when your child practices good dental hygiene, that filling should last ten years or more.

Tips to Prepare Your Child for a Filling

Okay, so let’s get to it. Your child’s dentist in Prince Frederick told you that your child has a small cavity and needs a filling. No sweat! We promise. By following these tips and tricks, your child’s dental appointment will be a breeze. Trust us; we’ve been around the block a few times.

1. Open Communication

The truth is that your child will be visiting the dentist a lot during their lifetime—every six months from babyhood through adulthood. So, getting them used to the process is a must. For this reason, we stress having open and honest dialogue with your children about the importance of dental hygiene and why they need to visit the dentist.

Plus, we’ve also seen that when parents talk to their kids openly and honestly about what to expect in the dental chair, kids have fewer questions (or more questions that they’re not hesitant to ask the dentist directly), and that chair seems to be a bit less intimidating. So, if your child needs a dental filling, talk to them about what to expect. They’ll appreciate being in the know.

2. Visiting the Dental Office in Advance

For some kids, especially those with autism or other special needs, or children who maybe haven’t been to the dentist for a while, it can be helpful to become familiar with the dental clinic before the day of the big appointment.

At We Make Kids Smile, we’re happy to work with you to schedule a pre-appointment before the appointment. This means that you and your child can come in and tour the office. We’ll take the time to show you the ins and outs, helping to familiarize your child with all those machines (and our awesome people). Plus, we’ll be happy to answer any questions you or your child have during the visit.

3. Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement can go a long way in helping your child feel more comfortable. Just as you like to be praised for a job well done, so does your child. So, be sure to offer plenty of praise before, during, and after the appointment. And if your child is a bit squirrely or isn’t dealing with the situation as well as you would’ve hoped, do your best to stay calm. Remember, we’ve been there before too.

On top of offering positive reinforcement, consider setting up some sort of reward system for your child. And, we suggest making this about more than just good behavior at the dentist’s office. Consider a star chart or another method that can be used to reward your child for good oral care, such as brushing their teeth before bed, letting you help them floss, and, yes, being a good sport in the dental chair. Let them have a special treat when they earn a certain number of stars.

4. Choosing Comfort Items

Come on, we know the truth. You probably have something in the house that you like to hold onto when you are feeling stressed. Perhaps you still have your childhood blanket hiding under those sweaters in the dresser. Don’t worry! Comfort items are cool, and your secret is safe with us. Now, consider how much more comfortable your child may be in the dentist chair if they have a favorite item with them. Perhaps it is their own blanket or a favorite stuffy. Bring it with them to the appointment, and encourage your child to talk to us about why the item is so special to them.

5. Distraction Techniques

Distraction techniques are used to shift your child’s focus from something that may be causing them stress or anxiety. This means teaching your child some deep breathing exercises or counting for them while they hold their mouth open for the dentist. The technique could even be as simple as holding their hand while the filling is placed, offering that extra touch of comfort.

Bring a book along to read to them, or let them watch a show on your iPad during the appointment. As long as it doesn’t get in the way of the dentist, we encourage whatever activity will help your child feel more comfortable with us.

Cavity Prevention: A Parent’s Role in Oral Health

Now that you’re equipped with some tips and tricks to help create a stress-free dental appointment for your child, let’s talk about what we can do to prevent the need for dental fillings in the first place. That said, it’s important to understand that if your child needs a dental filling, it isn’t an indicator that you have done anything wrong as a parent.

Over half of kids between the ages of six and eight will have a cavity at some point. And this happens for a variety of reasons. First, teaching kids how to brush their teeth can be hard. They might not get to all of their teeth when brushing, and even when you do it for them, it can be hard to position that toothbrush just right.

Plus, kids love sweets. And by no means are we telling you that your kids can’t have them (though we do recommend enjoying them in moderation). But the truth is that when that sugar sits on their teeth and isn’t brushed away at the end of the day, it can turn into plaque, and before you know it, a cavity can form.

So, be sure to practice good oral hygiene with your kids. Doing so can help prevent cavities or catch them when they are small. Here are a few helpful reminders.

  • Have your child brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time.
  • Floss between all of your child’s teeth at least once per day to loosen food particles that have become lodged between teeth.
  • Teach your child how to use a child-friendly mouthwash when they are about six years old.
  • Take your child to the dentist every six months for a professional dental cleaning.

We Make Kids Smile makes dental fillings easy.

At We Make Kids Smile, we pull out all the stops to make tooth fillings a breeze. And, when you try the tips and tricks we shared, it can be easier than ever. Creating a stress-free experience can help get your child in and out of that dental chair fast so that both of you can get on with your day.

Do you think your child has a cavity and needs a dental filling? Request an appointment with We Make Kids Smile today.

Do you have a question? We can help!

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3460 Old Washington Rd, #200
Waldorf, MD 20602

Prince Frederick

Prince Frederick

Prince Frederick

540 Main Street
Prince Frederick, MD 20678


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