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4 Ways to Help Your Child With Autism Feel Comfortable at the Dentist

January 29, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — casper @ 6:25 pm
Child smiling while brushing oversized model of teeth

A child’s first trip to a dental office can be… stressful. With so many new sights, sounds, and people, it’s natural for your little one to feel anxious. As a parent, this can place you in a really tough spot; you know how important dental care is, but you don’t want to put your child in a situation where they feel scared. Luckily, there are a few tips you can implement to help your child with autism feel comfortable with special needs dentistry. To learn what they are, read on!

#1. Find a Special Needs Dentist

Naturally, you want your child’s first dental visit to go as smoothly as possible. An important part of making that happen is finding a dentist who is comfortable with special needs dentistry. Do they have experience treating patients on the spectrum? How do they help children feel calm in the treatment chair? What will they do if your child’s behavior makes performing dental care difficult? Answers to questions like these will go a long way in making the experience for both you and your child as stress-free as possible.

#2. Introduce the Dentist Through Books and Games

Leading up to your child’s first dental appointment, it’s smart to begin introducing the concept of visiting the dentist. Start by reading them a few fun picture books on the topic or showing them a quick educational video. You can also buy toy dental tools and make a game out of preparing them for this visit. Try having them sit in a chair, lean back, and open their mouth. Then, let them be the dentist and you be the patient! Do what you can to keep the conversation surrounding the dentist very positive and fun.

#3. Consider Your Child’s Comfort

Does your child hate the taste of mint? Do they feel calmer when their favorite toy is close by? Do they get triggered by loud noises? This is all important information that can help make their dental appointment more enjoyable. In short, bring along items that will make them feel more at ease, like a toothpaste they tolerate, an iPad to watch their favorite show, or noise-canceling headphones to drown out unfamiliar sounds.

#4. Support the Dental Team

As a parent, it’s natural to want to stay in the room during your child’s appointment. In fact, in many cases, this is a crucial part of a successful visit! Just do your best to support the dental team by not second-guessing them or flinching (unless something truly unacceptable is happening, of course). Instead, do your best to be a reassuring, calming presence.

Healthy teeth help your child smile, communicate, and chew without pain. Since their six-month dental checkups play an important role in keeping their oral health in pristine condition, try using these tips to make their next visit more stress-free!

About the Practice

At Casper Children’s Dental Clinic, our team takes pride in helping all children maintain their happy, healthy smiles. Both of our pediatric dentists, Dr. Roy E. Paulson and Dr. Ryne S. Paulson, are happy to personalize each visit and go the extra mile to help children with special needs have the enjoyable dental experience they deserve. If you have a question about special needs dentistry or would like to schedule an appointment, don’t hesitate to visit our website or call (307) 266-1997.

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