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For Patients With Autism: 3 Tips To Make Dental Visits Easier

APPROXIMATELY 1 IN 68 CHILDREN identifies on the autism disorder spectrum. We know autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) can present challenges for children and their families, especially in an unfamiliar place like the dental office. Because April is Autism Awareness Month, here are some ideas to help:

Tip #1: Practice At Home To Minimize The Surprise

Practice following the simple commands like “open your mouth,” “say ah,” or “look at the light.” Invite him or her to lie down in a recliner, so the dental chair feels more familiar.

Tip #2: Educate Your Child About Dental Care

Take opportunities to stress the importance of clean strong teeth, and how the dentist will help them stay happy and healthy. Let your child know about the appointment ahead of time, and answer all of his or her questions.

Tip #3: Help Your Child Feel In Control With Oral Health Routines

Feeling in control will help your child enjoy their dental routine more. Let them pick their toothbrush and the time of day they brush and floss.

Here At Palm Valley Dentistry We Try To Make Your Child’s Visit Stress Free

We treat all children. To begin, Palm Valley Pediatric Dentistry provides a fun, child-friendly environment. Additionally, all of our dentists have two years of additional training to specialize in children, including those with special needs. Our dentists and staff continue this education by taking courses every year that include special care dentistry.

Here Are A Few More Tips We Have Found Helpful

  • To help prepare your child for a dental visit, here’s a few helpful hints:
  • Start visits at an early age and maintain 6 month check- ups.
  • Act out dental exams with a toy or other family members (ex. say ahh- look at the teeth!)
  • Keep your own fears of the dentist hidden
  • Maintain oral health at home with brushing as part of the daily routine

Once a month we have children with ASD come to our office to acclimate them to a dental setting and teach them basic dental hygiene skills. By establishing routines, many anxieties are reduced and children have significant improvements in behavior. CALL TO SCHEDULE FOR THIS FREE PROGRAM. APPOINTMENTS REQUIRED.

Dr. Olga Dolghier is also a staff pediatric dentist with privileges for Phoenix Children’s Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona.

We’re Your Partner In Your Child’s Dental Care

Of course, you’re the one who knows your child’s needs the best. Talk to us about what we can do to help you. Know a family who could benefit from this post? Please share!

Thanks for being such great patients and friends.

Top image by Flickr user Lali Masriera used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.


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