What You Can Expect When Taking Your Child with Autism to the Dentist
by Dr. Greg Grillo (www.dentably.com)
https://www.emergencydentistsusa.com/dentably/A child’s first dental visit is important, especially for children with autism. Sensory elements at the dentist can be more difficult to process but luckily, knowing what to expect at your child’s dental appointment can help you prepare for it. I have been practicing family dentistry for 17 years and know how important it is for your child to have a positive experience at the dental office. Here are some things to expect and how to prepare for their visit.
1. New People
At your first appointment, you can expect to meet new people and quickly get to know them. If your child struggles with sensory issues, try setting up a familiarization appointment ahead of time. This will give the the chance to meet the office and staff before any work is done. They can become familiar with some of the loud noises and bright lights.
It’s common for children with autism to be nervous at their first dental visit. There are many great ways to help overcome nerves and sensory issues you child may be feeling.
Practicing at home is one great way to begin working through sensory issues. Role-playing dental visits at home, watching videos about dental checkups can help a child be more comfortable and get a feeling of what it will be like. Since every child reacts differently to sensory elements, it can take a while to figure out what works best, but don’t give up. Do what you can to make going to the dentist a positive experience.
3. Future Dental Visits
Finally, it is extremely important to you child’s overall health to visit the dentist regularly so be prepared to schedule future visits. Your child should see the dentist every six months. Note that your child’s first visit is going to be the most difficult, but will become easier with each visit. Make note of what went well during the first visit and what can be improved on.
One thing that many patients with special needs benefit from is working with the same staff each time. Your child will be more willing to visit the dentist if they can be around those that they are familiar with. It will help ease any anxieties your child may previously had and make for great and positive dental visits.
It is common that people experience nerves when they visit the dentist. You probably remember feeling a little scared at your first visit too! However, children with autism often have more difficulties when it comes to visiting the dentist due to trouble processing certain sensory elements. Proper dental care is essential to your jchild’s health and well being. Embrace learning about the dentist with your child to help them overcome their fears and become comfortable.