As a parent, the last thing you want to do is put your child in a situation that makes them feel terrified. So, it’s not hard to see why many parents are unsure how to go about handling their child’s biannual checkups and cleanings, especially if you have a child with Autism that is triggered by strange sounds, tastes, and sensations. Fortunately, that’s where special needs dentistry comes in. Keep reading to learn a few ways to help your child with Autism feel comfortable at the dentist.
#1. Find a Special Needs Dentist
Before preparing your child for their dental visit, it’s important to find the right dentist. Doing so requires a bit of research. One way to go about this is by looking at the websites of nearby dentists and reading through their “special needs dentistry” page. This will give you a tremendous amount of insight into the accommodations they make and the treatment options they have for children with special needs. Otherwise, you can always call around!
#2. Introduce Dental Visits Through Books and Videos
One of the best ways to get your child acclimated to the idea of visiting their dentist is through books and videos. Having a visual of their favorite character getting a dental checkup can show them what to expect and how to behave. Plus, these videos and illustrations paint going to the dentist in a positive light, ensuring “scary” words aren’t associated with their routine visits.
#3. Act Out a Checkup & Cleaning
Now that your child is familiar with the concept, have them act it out! You can buy some toy dental tools, have them practice saying “ahh,” and get them used to leaning back in a chair. Have them participate by playing “dentist” with their stuffed animals too!
#4. Bring Some Comfort-Based Items
Naturally, your child may feel a bit anxious due to the unfamiliar sights and sounds of the dentist’s office. So, make sure to bring some of their favorite comfort-based items with them! This could be a soft blanket, their favorite book, or even an iPad.
#5. Fill Out All the Paperwork Beforehand
The last thing you want is to be filling out paperwork while your child’s anxiety continues to grow in the waiting room or treatment chair. To avoid this, ask the practice if you can fill out the new patient paperwork beforehand. This will help get you and your child in and out of the office as quickly as possible.
Your child’s oral health is essential to their overall wellbeing and development, which is why their routine visits to the dentist are of the utmost importance. Fortunately, you can use the above tips to help them feel as comfortable as possible in the process!
About the Practice
At Simply Dental & Orthodontics, we are united behind our mission to provide a safe and comfortable environment for every child who comes to visit us. In fact, our team has undergone extensive training in special needs dentistry, ensuring children with behavioral impairments, developmental disorders, and the like can get the high-quality dentistry they deserve. If you’re interested in learning more about special needs dentistry, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team via website or by phone at 508-358-6300.