Posted on: 7 August 2019
Most parents understand how important it is to encourage their children to develop good dental practices. Doing so can mean a lifetime free of the negative effects of missing teeth and gum disease. Unfortunately, it can be traumatic for a child when something like a lost filling causes pain and discomfort. Read on to find out how to minimize the pain due to a lost filling for your child and ensure that your child does not automatically associate negative emotions with a dental issue.
Phone Your Dental Office Immediately
What may or may not be an emergency to an adult might be more urgent with a child. Whether you see a special pediatric dentist or you have a favorite family dentist, most dental offices are sympathetic to the unique needs of a child when coping with a missing filling. While you wait for the appointment, try some of the below suggestions to alleviate the discomfort your child is probably feeling.
Minimize the Discomfort While You Wait
A lost filling can mean the root of the tooth is now exposed to air, saliva, food, and drinks. Children seldom understand why pain is occurring and when it happens it can be as emotionally distressing as it is physically distressing. To help you and your child cope, follow the below tips:
- Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relief like acetaminophen formulated for children can help. Your dental office or pediatrician can suggest an OTC that's appropriate for your child.
- Topical pain relievers like Orajel can be applied directly to the gum and tooth area for instant relief.
- Avoid hot, cold, or difficult to chew food or drinks that can aggravate the tooth.
- It's important to keep your child's mouth as clean as possible after a lost filling. Brushing and flossing should be continued using a soft brush and gentle movements. If your child is able, have them swish some warm salty water around the mouth and spit several times a day.
- Temporary fillings can be created using an OTC kit from the drugstore. The special dental cement mixture can help fill the opening temporarily and keep the tooth from being exposed to food and the air. Since the lost filling can make the tooth more vulnerable to breakage until it's repaired, using a temporary filling works to reinforce the tooth to prevent further damage.
- Use a low-key approach to prepare your child for the dental appointment. Children may not remember their last dental appointment or cleaning, so use age-appropriate techniques to minimize their anxiety about the visit. Talk to them about the visit and let them know what will be happening. It's often a good idea to plan a special treat after the visit to help the child associate the visit with positive memories. To learn more, speak to your dentist in Springfield, Illinois.
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