Even though providing dental care to special children can be quite challenging, it is something that is necessary to ensure their oral health. To cater to these children’s needs, our pediatric dentists in Greeley have gone through intensive training to provide the care and treatment children on the autism spectrum need. We understand that each child is different and requires us to adjust to their unique needs to ensure they feel perfectly comfortable and relaxed before the treatment process can begin.
Preparing Your Child for A Dental Checkup
Here are a few things to check off the list that will help ensure that everything goes right during your child’s visit to us.
The Child’s First Dental Checkup
The things that people experience in their early months and years will significantly help develop desirable behavior and attitudes toward specific things. Did you know that children should have their first dental checkup before their first birthday? Unfortunately, most parents don’t know that dental professionals advise parents to take their kids to the dentist for their first checkup after they cross 6 months. This practice is even more important if the child is diagnosed with Autism. Kids love sugary treats and other sweets containing carbs harmful to their oral health. Kids experiencing dental examinations and treatments will allow desensitization at an early age, during which they are found to be more cooperative and less afraid. If a child with Autism has previously visited the dentist at an early age, they will find it easier to visit dental offices in the years to come.
Make Them Practice At Home
To get your child accustomed to the brushing experience and sensation, it’s a good idea to incorporate the oral hygiene practice of brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes at an early age. Hence, they will remain familiar with the process as they grow up and won’t get nervous during their dental appointments. Before sleeping time:
- Buy them a manual toothbrush suitable for kids.
- Show them what to do.
- Let them do their thing at their own pace.
Tell Them What Open Wide Means
When anyone visits the dentist, the first thing they are asked to do is open wide so that the professional can get a good look at their teeth and determine what needs to be done. Teaching your kid how and why to open wide for a minute or two can be an excellent practice to help their dental checkup go even more smoothly.
Use Communication Tablets to Teach Oral Health Routines
It has been well proven that children with Autism react very well to communication tablets and are good at following a set schedule. If parents correctly use communicational tablets, they can instill the desired behavior and attitudes in their kids. If your child has one of these in their possession, we highly recommend that you set up an icon for brushing their teeth regularly. If done right, children with Autism will use it in the morning and before their bedtime daily.
If this practice is added to their daily routine successfully, they will accumulate the necessary experience to become familiar with dental practices and treatments, increasing the chances of their first checkup going smoothly. After this, their dental appointments feel more natural. It’s also a good option to bring the tablet to the dental office, which is a good way to ensure effective communication between the child and the dental staff.
Children Love & Adopt Musical Rhymes
Another good practice to prepare your child with Autism for dental visitation is through fun musical rhymes with a dentist theme. Professionals have observed that children copy what they repeatedly watch in animated musicals made for them. So making them watch children visiting a dentist and receiving their cleaning treatment should prepare them better.
Stress Relieving Items
There are many items that can help your child with Autism remain calm and control their stress. These things allow them to relax and feel comfortable even in new environments. Here’s a list of some of the items that can help your kid remain calm during their dental checkup:
- Stress Balls, Fidget Toys, and Stuffed Animals
- Communication Tablets
- Noise-canceling headphones