Going to the dentist is a sore point for many people. Even the most respectable of adults try to put it off as long as humanly possible. But the truth is, a lot of the time, going to the dentist and identifying an issue early can save a lot of money, hassle and potentially painful treatments. The same goes for root canal treatment. If you or your child requires root canal treatment, it’s best to address it sooner rather than later.
But whilst a root canal is a fairly routine and relatively painless procedure, the idea of any dental procedure can seem particularly daunting for a child. So if your child is about to undergo root canal treatment, here’s a simple guide to help get them through the experience as smooth as possible.
Research ahead of time
Much like the dreaded ‘birds and the bees’ talk, explaining root canal treatment to your child will be a lot easier if you’ve thought about what to say ahead of time.
Before you sit down with your son or daughter to explain what’s going to happen, make sure you fully understand it first. Talk with your dentist if necessary to make sure you have a firm grasp on all the facts. Make sure you understand exactly what the treatment is and why it’s necessary as well.
You should also have a good understanding of what exactly will happen on the day. From the anesthetic right through to post-procedure. That way, when you explain it to your child you will come across as calm, firm and reassuring.
Expect a lot of questions
It’s no secret that kids ask a lot of inane questions. Some make sense, many do not. But when it comes to a scary dentist appointment, be prepared for any questions that come your way.
Again, having done your research ahead of time you should be able to calmly and effectively answer these questions which should help put your child at ease.
Perform a dry run
If your child is particularly nervous about the experience, why not go through a dry-run of the whole thing? If the procedure is being performed by a dentist they haven’t met before, take them up to the dental practice for a visit so they can familiarise themselves with the surroundings. This will help put your mind at ease too!
Seeing your child in a vulnerable position and placed under anesthetic can be uncomfortable but try your best to stay calm (at least on the outside). Your child will look to you for reassurance and cues on how to react so you need to be a safe and comforting place for them to turn to.
Don’t be afraid to bribe!
If all else fails, don’t be afraid to promise your child a nice treat after the treatment for being brave. Naturally, this may not involve and edible treats like ice cream or sweets but how about watching their favorite movie when you get home? Or taking them to do a fun activity on the weekend? By creating excitement about a future reward, you’ll take their mind off the treatment and minimize any panic or discomfort.
And finally… remember it’s only one day!
Although the build-up and thought of going through the procedure can be scary for both you and your child, just remember that it’s only one day. Remember that it’s a fairly routine procedure that your dentist has performed countless times.
And after it’s all done, don’t forget to give yourself a little reward. Whether it’s a quiet glass of wine or a family size bar of chocolate to yourself, remember that you deserve something for being brave too!