Helping Your Teen Prepare for a Root Canal

A root canal is a dental procedure that involves removing the soft center of the tooth, often referred to as the “pulp.” The pulp is made up of nerves, connective tissues, and blood vessels that are necessary when the tooth is growing. However, the pulp can be removed once the tooth is fully formed if necessary. Many people often worry about root canals and associate it with a lot of pain. But, modern advancements in dentistry have made root canals much smoother and easier. Below you will find helpful tips for helping your teen prepare for a root canal.

Helping Your Teen Prepare for a Root Canal

While your teen may not want to spend their afternoon getting a root canal, it can be necessary for their oral health. Consider the following tips to prepare your child for their root canal procedure.

Start A Conversation:

There is often a huge difference between a 13-year-old and a 19-year-old, so it is important to have an age-appropriate conversation. Begin talking to your teen about their feelings about the procedure. This can help you understand where they are emotionally, in addition to how much they know in a practical sense about a root canal. If they are in a good headspace about it, be sure and answer any questions they have. However, if they have some fear and anxiety, consider methods to help them manage their emotions. This can be through meditation, yoga, or even talk therapy. Be sure and let your family dentist in Chino Hills know that your teen has some fears as they can accommodate them based on their unique needs.

Prepare Your Teen:

After the initial conversation about how your teen feels, be sure and follow that up with helpful information about the procedure. You may need to save this for another time if your child has a lot of anxiety about the procedure. Use your best judgment as it is important to prepare your teen for the root canal whether they are ready for it or not. Avoid sugar coating the process as that can make it worse on the day of the root canal. Share what pain management medications will be used, how long the root canal will take, and what they may experience after. Preparing your child for their root canal in Chino Hills can be very beneficial for their mental health and for your relationship as it can build trust and communication.

Consider Meal Prepping:

Unless the dentist tells you otherwise, be sure that your child eats a healthy meal before the procedure. This can help keep them full during and shortly after the root canal. Before the root canal, you should also consider meal prepping. If you don’t have meal prep, be sure and keep a number of food options that are liquid or soft as your teen may need to make dietary adjustments after the procedure. Things like yogurt, pudding, applesauce, soup, smoothies, and even mashed potatoes are great as they can promote healing and reduce the risk for complications.

Prioritize Prevention:

After the root canal, discuss healthy prevention measures that can ensure your teen avoids the need for a root canal again. This can be beneficial to do with the dentist as you will have reinforcements when it comes to encouraging your teeth to care for their oral health. Their daily oral care routine and regular trips to the dentist can be crucial in their long-term oral health. Talk about this with your teeth and be sure and practice what you preach as modeling good behavior can be highly impactful for your children.