Finding the Right Pediatric Dentist for a Child with Autism

Finding the Right Pediatric Dentist for a Child with Autism

Posted by Hillsdale Dental Care on May 4 2017, 09:19 PM

A visit to the pediatric dentist is challenging for most children, but a disorder in the autism spectrum can present even more challenges. Many parents find themselves switching Photo of three children standing behind one another, for information on pediatric dentistry for autism spectrum children on the blog of San Jose Hillsdale Dental Care.dentists frequently because their child’s needs aren’t being met. What are some key factors to increasing your child’s comfort at the dentist? And how do you find the right dentist with whom you and your child can build a long-lasting relationship? We’ll discuss five ways.

1. Practice Good Oral Hygiene at Home

If you practice good oral hygiene at home, it can make it easier to help your child understand that a pediatric dentist has special tools to keep his or her teeth even cleaner. Help your child brush and floss daily. Don’t minimize the important of a healthy mouth and healthy teeth.

2. Let Your Child Know What to Expect

Explain to your child what happens at a pediatric dental appointment. Include the following:

·    You will need to sign in when you arrive, and you will have a brief wait in a reception area.

·    Assure your child that you will join him or her in the treatment room.

·    A hygienist will lean him or her back in a chair to examine and clean your child’s teeth.

·    Your child will be asked to open his or her mouth wide and keep it open for a dental exam and cleaning.

·    Teeth will be counted and dental x-rays will be taken.

·    Metal dental tools are used to clean teeth. They work much better than a toothbrush. Find some online pictures of dental tools to show your child.

·    During the cleaning process, the hygienist will insert a straw in your child’s mouth to remove extra water or saliva. At that time, your child will be asked to close his or her mouth.

·    Your child’s teeth will be polished.

·    The dentist will come into the room to check your child’s teeth and gums.

·    The dentist will speak with you to let you know if your child has healthy teeth or if any problems were found.

·    Your child will receive a gift bag with a new toothbrush and toothpaste.

3. Have a Practice Dental Appointment

Have a practice session with your child that mimics a pediatric dental visit.

·    Pretend that you are the dental hygienist and position your child in a chair that can safely tilt back.

·    Give instructions just as a dental hygienist would.

·    Commend your child for the instructions that were followed correctly.

·    Remind him or her of which instructions should be followed more closely

4. Schedule Consultations First

Before you commit to a pediatric dentist for a cleaning and examination for your child, schedule a consultation. We suggest that you find several dentists who treat patients with autism. Prepare specific questions to help you understand what is done to help patients feel comfortable.

Identify your top three choices for a pediatric dentist, and schedule a consultation. Take your child with you to observe how he or she responds to the office environment and staff. In advance ask if, during the consultation, your child can:

·    Meet staff members

·    Meet the dentist

·    See a treatment room

·    Sit in the dental chair

·    See the dental tools

The right pediatric dentist will understand that your child has special needs and will cooperate with your requests.

Be reasonable, and understand that dentists have limited time for consultations. With proper planning, a lot can be accomplished during the visit.

5. Let the Staff Know Your Child’s Needs

Every patient is different. You know specific triggers that can irritate or frighten your child, as well as what can be done or said to help him or her relax. Speak with the dental staff to let them know what to expect when your child is receiving treatment. Some children are more comfortable if the dental chair is tilted back before they sit down.

Clear, detailed communication will help your child have a productive dental visit. It will also help the pediatric dental team provide the best care possible.

This post is sponsored by San Jose dentists Dr. Ralph Stanley, Dr. Magdalena Azzarelli, and Dr. Rogé Jacob of Hillsdale Dental Care. Visit our web page on dental tips for parents.

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