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Archive for January, 2018

Finding an Autism & Special Needs Dentist for Your Autistic Child; Management & Comfort Tips

Smile Reef

Most parents of autistic children know that these special kids can react differently to the senses of strangers putting their hands their mouth, the strange sounds and tastes, in addition to bright lights, and occasional pain they are already sensitive to on top of the common fears of the dentist that many children share. Needless to say, the experience can be traumatic for both parents and autistic kids. With that in mind, we at Smile Reef would like to discuss some tips and suggestions that can help make the experience less traumatizing for you both.

Dentist for Autistic Child Near Me

First things first, not all dentists are comfortable, prepared, or trained to treat children with autism. Most pediatric dentists are more likely, but even then, it is best to call ahead and talk to the office about it. You can ask questions such as:
– Do you treat kids with special needs?
– How is children’s anxiety handled?
– Are parents permitted to stay with their children throughout the whole duration of the visit?
– What does the dentist do if a child’s behavior is a challenge?
– Consider their responses carefully and determine the experience they have working with special needs kids, including those with autism. Many pediatric dentists take on the extra training and continued education to work with these special kids. A major red flag, however, to a solution for managing a child’s erratic behavior and anxiety is to strap the child to a “papoose board” to keep them immobile, unless in the event of an EXTREME emergency. It may be temporary fix for the moment, but all it would do is increase the anxiety and melt downs on future dental visits.

Tips for Management & Comfort of Autistic Child in Pediatric Dental Clinic

1) Consider printing some pictures or finding a kids book regarding a trip to the dentist. Explain what goes on at the dentist and what the dentist does for their teeth. Read through the story or relate the pictures you find frequently and bring it with you when you get to the dentist to familiarize your child with the procedure.
2) Invest in some basic dental tools to let your child touch, see, and interact with them before heading to the dentist.
3) Avoid the discomforts and exploit the comforts of your child. For example, some kids detest mint flavored tooth paste and react well with a bubble gum flavored, bring their toothpaste for the dentist team to use to avoid the sensory melt downs.
4) Bring your kid’s tablet or portable device to play their favorite movies and such during the visit. A distraction might be all that is needed to get the visit completed.
5) If you fear that the lights and noises might be an issue, have your child wear sunglasses, headphones or ear plugs.
6) If the dentists allow parents to be with the kids, do not back seat drive or flinch, it will distract the dentist and give your child more anxiety. Let the dentist do their job and if you feel the dentist didn’t handle your child right, simply find a new dentist.

Special Needs Dentristy

These are just a few ideas to help you, your child, and the dentist get through the experience. You know your kid best. If you have any specific, unique questions or requests regarding your child’s individual concerns, always feel welcome to ask the dentist. Smile Reef has the training and experience to work with special needs children including those with autism, and even offer sedation dentistry if that is the best solution for your child. Call our office today to learn more.

aaa special needs blog not used yet

Why Do We Lose Our Baby Teeth? Importance & Purpose of Deciduous Teeth in Development

Smile Reef

Have you ever wondered about your teeth? Most kids have been told those are the only teeth you are going to get so take care of them. This is not actually true because us humans get two sets of teeth. The first set are referred to as your deciduous or baby teeth and your second set are the adult or permanent teeth. If you compare this to parts of the animal kingdom it is not uncommon. Other mammals such as cats and dogs have the same situation that we do. When they are a puppy or kitten they are gumming their way through life. After a few weeks they have very sharp and fine teeth. They will soon lose these teeth and the adult teeth come on in. The second set is what they get for the rest of their life. If you look at marine life the tooth experience will look much different. Sharks for example lose teeth that will quickly be replaced with new ones. Most sharks have several rows of teeth that can come and go as needed. That is why if you buy a shark tooth necklace the odds that a shark was actually harmed are minimal. Shark teeth can be found along the ocean floor on a regular basis. We don’t get the same treatment with our teeth. We are more like a dog because we get only two sets.

Smile Reef Explains the Purpose of Baby Teeth in Our Development

How Many Teeth Do You Have?: This is sort of a trick question. There are other attributes and circumstances that determine how many teeth you have. If you want the general and most common answer then when you grow in your baby teeth, you will end up with 20! As those fall out you will then have a total of 32 adult teeth that are permanent. There are times that your adult teeth do not form and that leads to a gap that will need some dental work to close up. To know where your tooth development is at and what you can expect when your adult teeth come in a visit to the dentist is all it will take. They can take x-rays that show the teeth beneath the gums that are awaiting their arrival.
Why Do We Have Baby Teeth?: The question why we need baby teeth seem to be a good one. First off you are not born with any teeth that have advanced through the gum line. Over the course of the first few years of life teeth will emerge but we only have them for a short period relative to our lifetime. Most children will start to lose their baby teeth at about age five all the way through early teens. If baby teeth are just going to come out, then why are they necessary? When you are small your jaw is also small. The teeth that you need as an adult are specifically fit together to take care of your chewing and eating needs. As you grow, so does your jaw opening the space needed to grow in the larger permanent teeth. The baby teeth are your starter set that will act as a space holder. That is their main job and function.

Pediatric Dental Care

Smile Reef offers dental exams and procedures to care for baby teeth and determine the growth of permanent teeth. Contact us to schedule your next appointment today!

baby teeth blog