Dentists have to pull their patients' teeth on occasion for a number of reasons, and it's possible that your child will need to go through this procedure. Some children's baby teeth can be slow to fall out, which will require the dentist to extract a stubborn tooth to make way for the adult tooth that is quickly coming behind it. If your child's pediatric dentist has indicated that dental extractions are necessary and has had you book an appointment for this procedure, it's a good idea to talk to your child about this topic. Here are some important points to cover.
The Child Didn't Do Anything Wrong
Some parents can be quick to cast blame at their children for dental issues. For example, a parent might criticize a child's brushing ability once the child learns that he or she has a cavity. Your child may be a little upset about hearing that a tooth needs to be pulled, so you should make sure that the child knows that he or she didn't do anything wrong. Explain that for some kids, baby teeth are just a little slower to fall out, and the dentist is speeding up the process.
This Is Necessary for a Healthy Smile
Your child may ask why he or she can't simply wait until the baby tooth falls out. You should indicate that waiting would indeed be nice, but that doing so could lead to future dental issues. Explain to your child how the adult tooth is ready to come in now; perhaps he or she already has other adult teeth that have started to come in. Explain that this tooth needs to come in properly and that it has to have the baby tooth out of the way so that it can do so. Remind your child that he or she wants a healthy smile and that this extraction appointment will be part of achieving that.
You'll Be There to Help
Children can feel uneasy about having a tooth pulled because of concerns over the unknown. Tell your child not only that he or she is in good hands with the dentist, but also that you'll be there to help. For example, if the child experiences any discomfort afterward, you'll help by applying heat and cold intermittently to make your child's mouth feel more comfortable. You might also excite your child by picking a few soft foods that your child will be able to eat after the appointment.