For children with sensory sensitivities, the first visit to the dentist can be upsetting due to strange people, noises, bright lights, and sharp instruments. If your child is on the autism spectrum, you can ease their first appointment by finding facilities specializing in family dentistry. Inquire if the pediatric dentists on staff have experience with special needs patients and how they will keep them calm and unafraid. Once you find a dental health specialist you trust, it’s time to work with your little one.
Top 5 Tips to Help Your Child With Autism Prepare for the Dentist
1. Read Books
Read picture books with your child about first trips to the dentist and practicing good oral hygiene. There are a variety of stories about children experiencing their first oral exam, and it can be comforting for kids to see their favorite characters go through the experience. This will give them an idea of what to expect, and you can pay attention to the parts that make them nervous, so you can talk to your dentist about making the experience less scary.
2. Show Them Basic Dental Instruments
Borrow or purchase basic dental instruments such as dental mirrors and let your child touch them. This again helps the young one understand what will happen at the dentistry office, so they are not overwhelmed by too many new sights.
3. Bring Sunglasses or Earplugs
Bring sunglasses or earplugs along if your little patient is sensitive to bright lights or noise. These items keep your child calm and make it clear their comfort is the priority.
4. Ask Your Child About Flavors
Ask the dental hygienist and dentist to use teeth cleaning gels and solutions in flavors your child likes, such as strawberry or orange. Distaste for assorted mint flavors can cause sensory overload when paired with the strange whirring of equipment or unusual sensations.
5. Offer Additional Distractions
Provide your small patient with any other distractions that might help during the visit such as a tablet or portable DVD player with preferred shows and movies. If your child has a favorite toy that helps them calm down, bring that along as well.
Artistic Dentistry offers children’s and general dentistry to patients throughout the Anchorage and Independence Park, AK, areas. You can expect affordable, high-quality, comfortable care at this dentist’s practice, with emergency and cosmetic services among the many options available. Call (907) 344-1990 to schedule your child’s appointment today, and visit the website to meet the team. Like their Facebook page for the latest oral health tips.