There are many unique challenges when caring for a child with autism, or any other development disabilities for that matter. Both dental providers and parents can have some demanding trials when helping these special little ones with their oral hygiene care. With the spectrum being wide, kids with autism can have various needs and where some can experience similarities, no two kids are alike. As with any child, it is essential that quality dental care is given throughout their life and where parents of an autistic son or daughter can be difficult at times, it is still important you diligently ensure they are given the best oral health care possible. With that in mind, we at Smile Reef would like to offer some tips and suggestions on taking care of the oral needs of an autistic child.
Dental Care Tips & Information for an Autistic Child
1) Brushing and flossing may require assistance from the parents, depending on the child’s individual’s abilities. These hygiene practices are very basic, it is essential they are not overlooked in an effort to protect their teeth from getting cavities and other oral issues. Many autistic children rely on routine. If you have not established oral practices in their daily schedule, implement it soon and make sure they are getting their teeth brushed the same time every morning and every night. If possible, have them do it, even if you have to do it first or after to make sure it is done thoroughly.
2) Consider getting sealants to protect the child’s molars from decay. Sealants are recommended for all children, but autistic children that have difficulty brushing can especially benefit.
3) Autistic children are especially sensitive to stimuli like sounds and tastes and can run into dilemmas during their dental visit. When you call for their appointment, let them know about their specific needs so the dentist staff can properly prepare for your child’s arrival and help their service be smoother.
4) Sedation can significantly help autistic children during particularly long dental procedures. They are calm throughout the entire visit, which keeps them safe and relaxed so the dental care is done more efficiently and makes for a better experience for everyone. Additionally, one of the side effects is that people do not remember the event during the sedation, which helps the autistic child more for future dental visits. Seeking out a dental professional that specializes in pediatrics and kids with special needs, such as Smile Reef, can make all the difference in the world for your child. These professionals are trained to interact with autistic children and with our experience, we see kids that are all over the spectrum and usually have the patience and compassion for kids with special needs.
Special Needs Dentistry
Helping your kids with their oral practice is important for their oral care as children but more so for the care of their oral health as they become adults. We at Smile Reef know the challenges of helping autistic kids and other children with development disabilities and we are readily available to provide the professional dental care your child needs. Call us today to schedule your child’s next appointment.