Going to the dentist is a necessary but often challenging task for many of us, including our young or adult children who have special needs.
How can we help them calm their fears and have a successful visit? Erin Enany, DMD, Eastman Institute for Oral Health Dental Resident, offers the following advice.
Solutions for oral hygiene challenges at home
If your child struggles to brush teeth in the bathroom, then try brushing teeth wherever your child is comfortable in your home.
If your child doesn’t like the flavor of toothpaste, try a flavorless toothpaste with fluoride.
If you have difficulty keeping your child’s mouth open, try using a teething toy to help keep the mouth open.
If your child needs physical stimulation, try using an electric toothbrush.
If you have limited time to brush teeth, try using a try using a 3-sided toothbrush.
How to prepare for a successful dental visit
Create a dental social story for your child. Need inspiration? Just click on the following link for examples and templates of dental social stories:
Bring your child’s medical history, list of all medications, and names and numbers of doctors to your first appointment.
Talk to the dentist about behavioral concerns.
Does stress triggers seizures, medical conditions, or emergencies in your child? Tell the dentist about it.
Bring headphones or sunglasses to help with your child’s sensory needs.
Review your child’s dental social story.
Does your child still need help with brushing? Consider working with an occupational therapist.
If your child needs help with healthy eating, you might try working with a psychologist or psychiatrist.
Looking to learn more?
Register now for our upcoming free webinar on Taking the Stress out of Trips to the Dentist, February 25, 2021 from 12:00pm -1:00pm. Registration is required. To register, use this link: