There are several things you can do to assist your child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to be ready for their dental appointment and have a positive experience. We’ve got some great ideas just waiting for a chance at being implemented into your family’s routine – you just need to get started on making this change possible today. These tiny efforts help create the conditions for your child’s happy dental visit.
Make them comfortable
Bring your child’s favourite blanket if they like to have something soft and cozy around them when they are getting their teeth checked or fixed. If you have an infant or toddler that does not talk well yet, bring any special toys or stuffed animals that they like the best. This will keep their hands occupied and function as a diversion to help them feel less anxious. iPads can divert your child’s attention by letting them watch their favourite show, game, or movie. You can also carry noise-cancelling headphones which will block out distracting noises and be helpful for children with sensory sensitivity. Most importantly, inform your child that you are available and reassure them that you will be present near to comfort them.
Begin their dental visit early
The examination will be simpler if you bring your child to the dentist when they are younger. Earlier the age, the more cooperative they are in their consecutive visits. If your child has had their first dental exam at 1 year of age, you’ve already prepared them for success, even if they are diagnosed with ASD at a later age. By your kid’s first birthday, a dental examination with a skilled and accommodating pediatric dental staff can set your child up for a lifetime of good oral health. Early check ups have the extra advantage of being quick and painless, and they aid in building rapport with the dental team and comfort in the office setting.
Prepare for your visit
The dentist may ask you if your child has any special needs or if they have questions about dental care. You should be able to answer these questions before you arrive at the dentist’s office – keep their medical records and other information handy. You can also help your child practice talking about their feelings by asking them what they would like to say when they arrive at the dentist’s office and then repeating those statements out loud together before going into an appointment. This will give your child with ASD confidence in their ability to speak up and share their thoughts while also giving them practise speaking up when needed!
Give your child a firsthand experience at home
Get your child some dental instruments so they can see and hold them before you even take them to the dentist. Holding the instruments might give your child confidence and get familiar with them. If your youngster is willing, have a dental exam at home by asking them to lie down and open their mouth widely. Talk about things they might see during their visit, such as equipment being used or other people being present in the room. This will give them an idea of what to expect at the appointment.
Before your child’s appointment, ask if you can record a video in the office – a simple brief walk-through video. Watching this video will give your child a way to become comfortable with the location’s appearance without experiencing its sounds, smells, or tastes. You can choose a video from Dr. Yasmin Kottait’s Instagram account, preferably one that features her dancing with a child, so that your child can see the welcoming and safe setting and the pediatric dentist who will be treating them before the actual procedure.
Offer a calm environment for dental visits
It’s important for your child to feel confident in the dentist’s office and have a calm environment. A calm environment makes it easier for them to relax and focus. This allows them to handle their dental procedure better than being nervous about what might happen next or how long it would take. It’s important to let the dentist know about any special needs your child has as it can be difficult for your child with autism to communicate their needs and wants. The dentist will be able to plan for these needs and make sure that your child is comfortable during the visit. As your kid’s parent and advocate, try your best to inform the dental staff so that they are ready for your child and the appointment in advance. To make your child feel more at ease, you can also offer any helpful techniques to the clinic that have been successful in the past.
Find the right Dentist
Your child can feel a huge change with the correct dentist and staff who have experience with children with special needs. Prior to making a dental appointment, request a consultation with the dentist. Inquire about their expertise in treating kids with developmental issues that cause sensory sensitivity. Enquire as to how they intend to make this work. This visit will provide you with more than just facts; it will also show you how willing they are to help your youngster have a good time. Dr. Yasmin Kottait is one of the few Autism friendly dentists in Dubai with a diploma in Cognitive Based Hypnotherapy and IBCCES Autism certification who offers the most excellent dental care and the overall experience.
Children with autism benefit from Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) therapy in both their daily life and dental treatment. Dr. Yasmin uses ABA tools with the following goals in mind:
- Introduce your child to Social Stories. Dr. Yasmin’s social stories are a great resource that can be downloaded and used to familiarise your child with the visit and its associated expectations. By showing your child the story each day leading up to the visit, they can become more comfortable and confident.
- To properly assist the parents in preparing for the forthcoming dental appointment.
- To teach the child the importance of regular dental visits.
- To enable children and parents alike to relax before the dental visit — No more anxious children prior to dental appointments.
- To show the child what to expect during their visit to the dentist for autism in Dubai including the paediatric dentistry office, the dentist, and everything else.
Before visiting Dr. Yasmin’s pediatric dentistry practice in Dubai, we kindly ask that you complete this questionnaire (Download) and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org by email.
About Dr. Yasmin Kottait: Having dedicated 16 years of her career to spreading smiles and imparting knowledge of oral hygiene to children, Dr. Yasmin is a renowned name and face in the field of pediatric dentistry in Dubai. Her joyful personality and magical kid-whispering powers make dental appointments for kids an easy sail – and lots of fun, that they never miss a single dental appointment with her! Her two most recent accomplishments were receiving a cognitive-based hypnotherapy diploma from the UK, which would give her therapies the much-needed psychological depth, and an additional qualification in working with children with autism.