Benadryl Before Dentist?

Updated on November 17, 2010
S.F. asks from Hawthorne, NY
8 answers

Ok ladies, here's the situation. My 6 year old daughter had 2 cavities filled a few weeks ago, and Saturday she has 2 more. They are the four very back teeth, top and bottom. The tough ones to reach I guess. Anyway, the last appointment was traumatizing for her and me both. She had novacaine and flipped out. She cries everyday, has anxiety and stomach aches just thinking about going back to do it again. Getting her there will be a fight in itself. The dentist recommended that I give her benedryl 2 hours before the appointment. She has never taken benadryl before, and if I'm correct it can sometimes have the opposite effect? I don't want to give her any more anxiety than she already has, and I really hate medicating. In fact, when I was little and had cavities filled they never used novacaine. I remember it being uncomfortable, but not horrible. One more thing, the teeth with cavities are baby teeth that will eventually fall out, but her dentist says they could rot before then. Any advice on how tohandle this situation to make it a little less stressful for her? Anyone been there, done that and want to share? I'd appreciate anything right now. I'm also going to ask her pediatrician what he recommends. Thanks in advance!

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your kind words and amazing responses! I was taking her to my dentist who also does children. I have made anappointment with a pediatric dentist who uses a laser to fill cavities. It is supposed to be less painful, and very quick. She also uses nitrus for anxiety. We aregoing for a consultation first. My daughter is still not thrilled, but less upset knowing there is no needle. She still says she isn't going. Lol. But, I definitely feel less stressed, and I think she will too. Thanks again. You are all so wonderful as always!!

Featured Answers



answers from Hartford on

I have severe anxiety when I go to the dentist and he suggested the same thing to me, so it's not unheard of.

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answers from Toledo on

I would almost suggest finding another pediatric dentist. Our pediatric dentist (even for fillings) prescribes Tylenol #3 to be given an hour before the appointment, then they give them "goofy gas" and then the topical, then the Novacaine. My kids have had their fair share of dental work, including the placement of spacers and pallett expanders and go willingly to the dentist for any reason. They even go to the exam room by themselves and I wait in the waiting area. My kids are 9 & 6. My 2 year old even goes back alone for her cleanings. Benedryl will likely relax her, but being so traumatized already with the association of the office, I'd seriously consider finding someone who is capable of making her more comfortable and gaining her trust.

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answers from New York on

My daughter had some kind of "laughing" gas. Benedryl works for us in general but you should test it one night before. But I really think the laughing gas is much more commonly used.



answers from Dallas on

First off is this Dentist a Pediatric Dentist? If not you might want to consult one first. I would be worried to give her anything like benadryl for the reason you listed above also since she hasnt ever had it before. I really have no good advise but I'm sorry you both are going through this.



answers from Boston on

are they large cavitites? Is this dentist a pediatric one? My oldest had one dinky cavity filled when he was 7 no novacaine they told him if hurt let them know and they put the bad sugar bugs to sleep with some medicine. I don't think I would give benedryl especially if she has not had it before. It does not make my kids tired and if I give the colored one they end up off the walls. I would ask the pediatrician if there is anything you can give her to help ease her anxiety. I don't understand why if she was having such a traumatic time getting it filled that they did not offer laughing gas.



answers from Honolulu on

Doesn't the Dentist use laughing gas???

AND is this a Pediatric Dentist???

But, the main thing is... it will be hard... to even get your daughter get ready and IN the car... to go to the Dentist. Then once there... on the way there, she will KNOW where you are going... kids know.
I don't know how, then, you will even get her out of the car and into the office... for the appointment.
I really... feel for you....

Or can your Husband ALSO go with you to the appointment??? It seems, you'd need extra help... in getting your daughter there... or even into the car.... and she has such stress/anxiety or post-traumatic stress about it after her previous appointment...
Maybe ask your Pediatrician as well... for any advice...

Maybe try giving her or getting her a BIG reward or something...???? Something she REALLY wants.... you'd need a big incentive... for this one.

all the best,


answers from Saginaw on

If your daughter has never had it, I wouldn't give it to her for this.

I agree with the previous poster, is this a Pediatric dentist? If not, I would search for one of those. They are more equipped with dealing with children.

My daughter has to get some cavities filled at the end of this month and I'm so afraid something like this will happen. She is just getting one filled to see how she does, if she does ok they are going to fill the others, if not, then they want her to go to a pediatric dentist instead.



answers from Biloxi on

Dentists were traumatizing for me too as a kid so I understand her fear. It seems your dentist believes the benadryl will make her sleepy since it seems to work with most children. Just a note, it doesn't make my kids sleepy at all! My dentist is very patient and all my kids don't fear getting a cavity filled because he goes very VERY slow on the novacaine that you don't even feel it! Plus he numbs it with orajel first. It seems your dentist isn't as patient????

I'd call your dentist and see if they can give her nitrous oxide first. If she's already upset now..a sip of benadryl isn't going to cut it!!!

You really shouldn't hold off on the cavities just because they are baby teeth. They can rot the permanent ones too which means more dental work in the future.

My mom gave me a napkin and told me to squeeze it when it hurt..but she still told me it was going to hurt. SO..can you be in there with her? Tell her you'll hold her hand. She also should be able to tell the dentist any time it hurts so he can stop or wait a bit. If your dentist won't work with you, find another one!

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