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dental health

How to Prepare Your Child for a Filling Visit

It is probably best that you do not go into great detail when you tell your child that he/she is returning for a filling. We recommend that you simply tell them they have “sugarbugs” that are making holes in their teeth and that the doctor will be using a special brush to chase the bugs away and then painting their teeth nice and white (or putting on a special crown, as the case may be).

You are welcome to be present for your child’s treatment. However, we often find that children do better for their filling visits when parents stay in the reception area. If you do choose to come to the back, we ask that you are a silent observer in our treatment. It is difficult for a child to focus and follow directions if there are several adults giving directions at the same time.

The staff and doctors will show and explain every step, even demonstrating the instruments first on your child’s fingers at your child’s appointment. We will use gentle, age-appropriate, non-scary language.

Please do not tell your child they are getting a “shot”. Shots hurt at the pediatrician’s office and using this word will unnecessarily scare them for their dental injection. We prefer to call it “sleepy spray” or “sleepy juice”. Most children tolerate dental shots very well and usually don’t even know they received an injection, especially when they are calm and relaxed.

Studies have shown that children sense their parents’ anxiety about their own past dental experiences and this directly impacts their apprehension level and ability to tolerate treatment. Please try to be positive and reassuring without relaying anxiety.

Try not to use words that may alarm your child or make them wonder if something is wrong during treatment. Example include: “Does it hurt?”, or “I’m sorry.” Alternatives are: “Good job,” “You are a great helper,” “I am so proud of you.”

Continue positive reinforcement after the dental visit. This makes your child feel good about herself/himself and encourages positive future visits.

If possible, please do not bring siblings along for filling visits. They are distracting for the doctors, staff and your treatment child.

If you have any questions regarding the procedure, please contact us before the day of the appointment so that we may devote the entire appointment time to your child’s treatment.

Please be assured that Dr. Carlin, Dr. Garcia and our well-trained staff will do everything we can to make your child’s visit a positive and comfortable one. Parents are usually pleasantly surprised by how well their children do at our office!