How a parent handles their child's dental health can create some lasting effects. Parents who make dental hygiene and dentist visits a part of their child's life are fostering a lifelong positive habit of taking care of dental health. Occasionally, a child might encounter a potentially upsetting experience when they lose a filling. Parents can do a lot to help mitigate any potential negative feelings associated with such an incident, so read on to find out more.
See the Dentist As Soon As Possible
Losing a filling is not necessarily a dental emergency but when it comes to a child, you should phone the dentist at your earliest convenience. Dental offices usually understand very well how your child feels and will undoubtedly try to fit them in as soon as possible. A lost filling can cause the child to experience pain when the nerve is exposed to food and drink. While you wait for the dentist's help, take the following steps to help your child cope with a lost filling:
- Keep Things Clean – To cut down on the chances for a gum infection, which will only prolong the discomfort for your child, be sure to use a toothbrush, floss, and warm water. Brush using a soft brush and gently floss as usual. For children able to do so, a warm water rinse a few times a day may be helpful.
- Keep Things Calm – Talk to your dentist about using some mild over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen to relieve the pain from the lost filling.
- Keep the Diet Bland – Provide your child with soft, easy-to-chew foods while you wait for the dentist appointment. Try to serve foods and drinks that are not too hot and not too cold.
- Keep Things Pain Free – Ask your dentist about using topical pain relievers like Orajel. Applied directly to the painful tooth, these topical gels work fast to make your child feel better.
- Keep Things Covered – You might want to consider using a do-it-yourself filling kit in some cases. These kits can come in handy if you are out of town or the dental appointment is several days away. These temporary filling kits come complete with dental cement that allows a parent to cover the damaged tooth. That not only prevents your child from being in pain but may prevent further damage to a broken and vulnerable tooth.
- Keep Your Dental Visit Low Key – When it's time to visit the pediatric dentist to have the lost filling addressed, keep thinks positive and calm. If your child is old enough, talk them through what might happen and give them something to look forward to after the appointment. For example, a visit to a favorite toy store might be just the thing to help them keep their minds off what the dentist is doing.
For more information, reach out to a pediatric dental specialist in your area.