Nobody wants their child to go through getting a cavity, but for some parents, their automatic reaction is to lash out at the child. If you're trying to figure out how to discourage cavities from striking your child again and don't know how to go about it, here's a quick guide to get you through.
1. Don't Punish—Relate
Nearly everyone has had at least one cavity in their lives—and many of them developed them during their childhoods. If you're one of them, you should use this to help relate to what your child is going through rather than trying to punish them for their cavity.
Even if your child has been slacking with their oral hygiene, right now they're probably scared and worried about going through getting a cavity treated. This is when you need to be compassionate, not mean. Talk to your child about when you had your first cavity so that they understand that they're not alone in this.
Next, you should take steps to reassure your child about their treatment. Although having extensive dental work performed can be a little tiring, for the most part, getting a cavity treated is no big deal. Your dentist will ensure that your child doesn't experience any pain, and if their tooth has been actively hurting because they had a cavity, getting treatment will mean putting an end to that. Let your child know that while it's natural to be nervous, they don't have to be scared of being in the dental chair.
3. Work on Dental Hygiene Together
This is a step you can get help from your family dentist with. Once your child's cavity has been treated, work together to improve both of your oral hygiene conditions. Encourage your child to brush more efficiently and for a set amount of time, either with a timer or an automatic toothbrush that shuts off after the set time. Try brushing with your child so that neither of you slacks off. And if your child is old enough, you can introduce them to flossing. This is your time to teach your child good, lasting oral hygiene habits, so look at this cavity as an opportunity, not an offense.
Your family dentist will ensure that your child recovers safely from their cavity, and with regular cleanings and an improved oral hygiene effort at home, it could be your child's last. For more information, contact a family dental clinic.