As we all know, in a dentist’s visit, many senses and stimulations are involved. That’s the reason that a visit to the dentist might be a little overwhelming for a child with autism. It is limited to the visit to a dentist, but the children with autism and other sensory issues might face various problems while brushing their teeth.
However, in between the number of complications, you must know that this doesn’t mean that you can compromise your child’s oral health. Keep in mind that any child needs as much dental assistance as an adult needs. So, even if you are worried for your child with autism and sensory issues that the visit to the dentist might be challenging, you cannot skip on it. Therefore, here is a dental visit guide for children with autism and sensory issues that can help you in the process.
Tips for Dental Visit for Children with Autism and Sensory Issues
Here are some tips to help you make the dentist visit successful for your children with special needs:
Find an Experienced Dentist
The first step in this case that ensures a successful visit to your child’s dentist with autism and sensory issues is choosing the perfect dentist. When choosing the right dentist for your child with special needs, make sure that the dentist is experienced enough to deal with such children and has special training to deal with such cases. A well-trained dentist is aware of children’s unique and extra needs with such problems.
If you don’t have any specially trained dentists in your region, make sure that you play your part in teaching the whole dental team about the different needs of your child. During the dental visit, you can also play your role by helping the team with the process. It is always the best option to reach the dentist’s place before the appointment and get the preparations done.
Get your Child Prepared
As important as choosing the right dentist, preparing your child on your hand is also important. You can introduce your child to the dentist by playing dentist at home and telling your child the importance of oral hygiene and health. You can also get some toy dental instruments for your child and introduce them to your child as he will play with the toys out of curiosity and get familiar with them.
After the child gets familiar with the dental instruments, they will not get scared of them. They will know that the tools will not harm them. Also, you can set up a mock dental exam at home to get your child acquainted with the process. You can ask them to lay down and open their mouths.
Tooth brushing Awareness for Sensory-Seeking Children
In the case of sensory-seeking children, tooth brushing is helpful to calm their nerves and prepare them for the dentist visit. You can use an electric or rotating brush for additional stimulation to provide more efficient cleaning. Moreover, parents can also keep the child more engaged by signing rhymes and songs related to oral hygiene or brushing teeth.
Children who are sensory avoiders don’t brush their teeth as happily because of the taste of toothpaste. The weird sensation inside the mouth and around also causes reluctance in the child. This is not an unsolvable problem. You can find a variety of flavorless toothpaste in the market solely created for this purpose and can help children with autism and sensory issues.
Tooth brushing Tolerance Guide for Sensory Avoiders
A good dentist will always recommend you supervise your children while brushing their teeth. It is proven that most children require parents’ help while brushing their teeth even after the excellent age of seven or eight. Here is a list of steps that you have to follow to get your child get used to it gradually:
- Gently press the back of the child’s head for five seconds at regular intervals in a day, especially when brushing their teeth.
- Choose the house area to brush teeth where your child is more comfortable.
- After your child gets used to the pressure applied at the back of their head, you can extend this pressure applying technique to other areas of their face and neck as well.
- Also, apply some pressure to the lips and cheekbones with your hands.
- Now repeat the pressure applied with a warm cloth instead of your hand. Clean the child’s teeth with the washcloth as well.
- After the child gets used to the washcloth, introduce a soft bristle brush. You don’t have to use toothpaste at this point.
- After the child gets comfortable with this routine, you can also introduce toothpaste.
As you can see, we have enlisted a dental visit guide for children with autism and sensory issues; you can find different tips from the above that can help you. Also, it is necessary to get your kid used to the environment and don’t forget to choose the right dentist.
In case you are looking for the best pediatric dentist with experience in handling kids with autism, contact Mypedia clinic. Oral hygiene is important for everyone, but it’s especially critical for kids with autism or sensory issues and that’s where we can help. Our pediatric dentists are experienced in dealing with kids and know how to make the visit fun, stress-free and educational!