If your child has a cavity that he or she needs to have filled, then there is a good chance that neither you nor your child are particularly looking forwards to that appointment. You probably don't want to deal with a kid that has worked him or herself into a panic over the thought of a filling. Here are some tips for keeping your child calm and making sure that he or she is ready for his or her first filling.
1. Normalize It
The first thing that you want to do is normalize the procedure. Talk about the cavities that you have gotten filled or that your child's friends have gotten filled. Tell them about your experience, but describe the process using words that do not cause panic, such as switching out the word needle for something like "magic wand" or some other calming term. By normalizing the idea of getting a filling, your child will see that lots of people have survived the process and that he or she will definitely be okay after the process as well. This can help alleviate some of your child's fear.
2. Bring a Stuffed Animal
Allow your child to bring a stuffed animal or some other toy that will bring comfort to him or her. This will allow you to make sure that your child does not panic too much because he or she will be carrying something that he or she can use to anchor him or herself. Having an anchor can make it much easier for your child to regulate his or her emotions. This will make it easier for the dentist to do his or her job and get the procedure over with as quickly as possible. Also, consider allowing your child to wear comfortable clothes that he or she feels safe in, even if he or she has to go to the dentist in his or her pajamas.
3. Give Your Child Something to Look Forwards To
Finally, try to give your child something to look forwards to. This is important because it will allow your child to focus more on a fun activity or being able to eat his or her favorite food after the procedure, rather than on the procedure itself. This can help your child remain a lot more calm.
For more information, talk to a dentist that specializes in pediatric dental care. They might have other advice for you.