Dental Care Challenges for Autistic Children… And Solutions!
For many children with Autism, the dentist, and even basic dental care, can be pretty scary. This can lead to challenges for Mom and Dad who are only looking out for the health of their child. At our Erdenheim pediatric dental office, we have some fun solutions that can make dental care easier for our most special patients.
Start at Home
The act of brushing and flossing alone can be quite an uncomfortable feeling for an autistic child. By introducing them to the world of oral hygiene at home, it can be a bit more comfortable for them. Start by choosing a toothbrush that’s properly sized for their mouth and make sure the bristles are soft. Then introduce the brush to your child by touching his lips with it. Gently touching your child’s face with the toothbrush may help him to adjust to this weird new texture. You may also want to brush your own teeth in front of your child to help him realize that it’s not harmful.
Finding the Right Dentist
The search for the right pediatric dentist in Erdenheim for your Autistic child may seem intimidating. However, organizations like Autism Speaks make that a bit easier by providing a list of dental offices in your area that specialize in Autistic care. You can find one by heading over to www.AutismSpeaks.org/community/resources. Once you find the right dentist, here’s a little guide to make your appointment a bit less stressful.
- A Pre-Appointment Conversation. Talking with the dentist prior to your visit can help him understand your child’s needs and give you the opportunity to talk about any concerns, challenges, or questions you may have.
- A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words. Ask your dental office to provide you with any photos they have of the practice and team so you can familiarize your child with the facility before your first appointment.
- A Little Preparation Goes A Long Way. Practicing ahead of time can help prepare your child for what will happen. Try having her recline with her feet out straight, place her hands on her belly, and practice opening wide. You can even get her accustomed to the tools used in a dental office. Simply stop by your local drugstore and pick up a small flashlight, a dental mirror, and an electronic toothbrush.
With a little at-home preparation, along with choosing the right dentist, your dental care challenges can be a thing of the past for your autistic child; and you can help her begin an oral health care routine that will last for life.
Welcoming patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill and surrounding areas.