When your little one is scheduled for oral surgery, it can be just as stressful, if not more so, for you than your child.
But it’s important for you to maintain your composure, even though you may have some natural parental worries about your child’s upcoming surgical experience. Here are four ways you can help your child prepare leading up to the appointment:
1. Explain the Procedure Calmly
Depending on the age and comprehension level of your child, explain why they need to have oral surgery, and briefly outline the steps the surgeon will take to improve their dental health. Children are naturally curious and may ask many questions about what will happen. They can also sense when you are nervous, so maintain a calm, open attitude toward the topic.
You may not want to tell them too many details, especially if your child is prone to worrying, but you want them to be as prepared as possible. Assure them that they will be “asleep” during the entire procedure and they will be safe and sound.
2. Keep Watch Over Their Health
A child’s oral surgery may need to be rescheduled if they are sick. In the week leading up to the procedure, keep a close eye on their health. Make sure your child gets a full night’s sleep. If they are exhibiting symptoms of a cold or the flu, such as a runny nose, a sore throat or a fever, call the surgeon to inform them of the change in their health. Also, if they have been exposed to an infectious disease like measles or the chicken pox, you should tell their oral surgeon right away.
3. Follow Pre-Op Instructions
For most oral surgeries, the patient is not allowed to eat after midnight on the day preceding the surgery. Also, they can drink water, but only up until three hours before the surgery. This will help prevent anesthesia complications — it’s for your child’s safety.
Follow the pre-op instructions from the doctor closely in order to help your child’s procedure and recovery pass as uneventfully as possible.
4. Give Them a Sense of Control
The prospect of undergoing oral surgery can make children feel helpless, like they have lost control. To reduce this feeling and to ease their anxiety, let them choose their favorite book or toy to bring with them. Allow them decide what they’d like to eat on the night before their surgery. Let them control the experience as much as possible in order to keep them grounded and secure.
At Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, we’re here for you and your child. Oral surgery doesn’t have to be scary, not when you have a friendly team walking you both through every step of the process. Contact us today to set up a consultation.