Family Dental Care: 5 Tips To Help Prepare Your Child For An Extraction

Posted on: 25 June 2015

Visiting the dentist is scary for many people, especially children. If your family dentist has told you that your child needs an extraction, you are probably feeling overwhelmed and a little anxious. Tooth extractions are scary, but sometimes they are necessary to maintain good oral health. Telling your child that they need another trip to the dentist may not be easy, but you can make your child a little less fearful of the big day.

Here are five tips for preparing a child for a tooth extraction:

1. Talk to Your Child

Most of your child's anxiety stems from the unknown. A new dental procedure can spark scary thoughts and terrifying scenarios. Ease your child's mind by explaining what will happen on the big day. Explain the entire day to your child, from wake-up to bedtime; but focus on the procedure itself. If you do not know what will happen, ask your dentist to give you a list and explain it to your child in kid-friendly terms. Just make sure you avoid scary words, such as shot or pain, as this can make the fear worse. Instead, use terms such as pinch and uncomfortable, which are less intimidating.

2. Have a Sign for Pain

Even though you do not want to tell your child that the procedure is painful, you should still have a code for pain. Let your child know that if they experience pain, they can use a gesture to notify the dentist. Just make sure you tell your dentist what this sign is, so they know what to look for. A handshake or thumbs up position both work well. You might also want to tell your child to breathe and count to 10 if they do experience any pain, as the pain should be gone within a few seconds.

3. Promise a Reward

Sometimes a small reward is all it takes to ease your child's fear of the dentist. Tell your child that they can have ice cream, watch their favorite movie, or play a game after the appointment. Letting your child know that a reward comes after the appointment will ease their fears and give them something to look forward to, following the visit.

4. Ask for Sedation

If you are child is extremely anxious or fearful, talk to the dentist about partial sedation. The dentist can use nitrous oxide to calm your child, before injecting any Novocain or extracting the tooth. It will make the procedure easier on everyone involved, and your child may get to pick the scent of the nitrous oxide, too.

5. Stay in the Room

Finally, consider asking the dentist if you can stay in the room during the procedure. Sometimes, knowing that a parent is nearby will help ease the fears of the child. It might also help ease your fears.

An extraction is never fun—for adults or children. Still, they are sometimes needed to prevent infection or further decay. If your child needs an extraction, use these five tips to help ease their fears.

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