Do you have a child who needs to have a tooth pulled? Tooth extraction can be a scary experience at any age, but it can be especially frightening for children. It's also not uncommon in young children. Sometimes, adult teeth will start coming in before the baby tooth has fallen out. When that happens, your family dentist may have no choice but to extract the baby tooth. While the procedure could be painful, it will likely be much easier if your child relaxes and lets the dentist do his or her work. Here are three tips on how to prepare your child:
Go through the day's schedule. Much of your child's anxiety may come from uncertainty about what will happen next. You can eliminate that uncertainty by going over the day's schedule step-by-step. Tell them what time you'll be waking up and leaving for the dentist. If possible, get a list of steps in the procedure from the dentist. That way you can give your child an idea of what the dentist will do and how long it will last. Then give your child something to look forward to after the procedure is over, such as getting ice cream or renting a favorite movie.
Keep your own emotions in check. Your child will take his or her cues from you. If you're freaking out about the procedure, chances are that he or she will as well. Instead, stay calm and tell your child it's a normal procedure that many children have to go through. Don't talk about how painful it is or how much you hate the dentist as that will only encourage your child to feel the same way. Remember that you're the leader, so it's up to you to keep your child calm.
Give them a code for pain. While the procedure may be somewhat painful, it shouldn't be unbearably painful. It's important that your child notify the dentist if he or she is experiencing too much pain. Give your child a hand gesture, like a thumbs up or thumbs down, to notify the dentist if they're feeling too much pain. Also, let your child know that most of the pain they feel will only be temporary. For example, when they get the local anesthetic, it may hurt at first, but it shouldn't last for more than a few seconds. Ask your child to count to ten when they feel pain. Knowing that the pain usually won't last past that count may help your child deal with it better.
For more guidance, talk to a family dentist like Brant N Olson, DDS PA.. They can give you some tips to prepare your child for the procedure.