If your child’s dentist has indicated that your child needs a root canal treatment, you might be worried about how to best prepare your child ahead of time.
Root canal treatments involve an infection in the pulp of the tooth which contains the tooth’s nerve. This same pulp also supplies nutrients and oxygen to the tooth via tiny blood vessels. If the pulp is infected or damaged, a root canal treatment can be performed in an effort to save it.
Because root canal treatments typically require several visits to the dentist, your child might be very nervous. For some fearful patients, the dentist may recommend a mild oral sedative to calm their nerves. X-rays and tooth molds will be taken and examined, and a replacement tooth crown might be made.
Most of the time, a root canal procedure is performed under sedation that leaves a patient disoriented. If your child is a licensed driver, he or she may not drive after receiving the sedation. You must be available to drive the child home.
Only give your child certain foods and drinks following treatment, as very hot or very cold foods can damage the mouth, especially if there is still any numbness present. Your child might not know he’s burned his mouth until later, when the numbness begins to abate. Soft foods such as yogurt, gelatin, milkshakes or applesauce are all good choices following a root canal treatment.
Treat any discomfort with over-the-counter pain relievers, especially those containing anti-inflammatory properties. Young people taking narcotics should avoid talking on the phone, texting or sending emails until after the narcotics have worn off, or they may say something they later regret.
Ask your dentist about other tips to prepare your child for a root canal therapy. Having the right advice and information can help you feel more confident and sure about your child’s upcoming treatment.