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How to Cope with Cavities in Baby Teeth 

It is disappointing to hear that your child has cavities in their baby teeth.  

How to keep cavities in perspective and prepare your child for their first filling.

Since it's just a baby tooth, does it really need to be filled?

Baby teeth are important and cavities need to be repaired unless the tooth is going to be lost soon.  

This chart shows the approximate age baby teeth will be lost.  

A dentist can tell by looking at the X-Ray how soon the tooth will be lost.

As long as the tooth doesn't hurt, it makes no sense to repair a cavity in a tooth that will only be there for a few months.

It is a waste of money and needlessly puts your child through a procedure.

But if the tooth will be needed for a year or more, it does need to be filled.

Preparing your child without making them more apprehensive can make the procedure go much smoother for everyone involved.

Preparing your child

cavities in baby teeth

Keep your explanation simple ~ Saying something like: "We are going to the dentist to get your tooth fixed" is usually enough.  

Too much information or talk of needles, shots or drills is not helpful.   Your dentist will be able to provide more details in the right way as needed.  It doesn't help if your child is dreading the appointment and afraid before they even get there.  

If your child asks more questions, keep the answers short and sweet.  Tell them the dentist will be able to answer their questions.     

Avoid unpleasant dental visits

While keeping baby teeth healthy, pain free and functioning properly is very important, it is also crucial to prevent your child from developing dental phobia.  Those who have severe dental fear face a lifetime of difficulty getting even basic preventative dental care.  Most adults with dental phobia have a history of a traumatic dental appointment in their childhood.

Your child may need to see a children's dentist or have some type of sedation to make the process tolerable.  

Going forward...

Be more proactive by taking steps to prevent cavities.  Decreasing sugar intake, brushing, flossing, and for kids over age 6 adding a fluoride rinse like ACT mouthwash will help to prevent cavities.

Don't blame, shame or punish your child for getting cavities.  While most kids can improve the way they care for their teeth, it is important to remember that some kids are more prone to cavities than others.

These cavity prone kids can improve but may not be able to stay cavity free for life. Remember that there are definitely worse things in life than having a filling or two.

As a parent the best you can do is to provide creative and positive inspiration for your child to stay healthy.  

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