Are you a parent of a child with Autism spectrum? Are you facing challenges sometimes in even the most simple of activities?
Now imagine you need to take him/her to the dentist!
A simple trip to the playground with your child may not always be that beautiful walk in the park experience expected. Taking him to the dentist? Unimaginable to some parents altogether. Which is why some parents delay their child’s visit to the dentist until trouble knocks on the door!
If your kid has autism, we understand the challenges you face and we are here to help make your visit less challenging and more smooth….so read on.
6 facts you need to understand before taking your child to the dentist:
Fear is normal:
It is normal for children to feel anxiety at the dentist’s clinic. A child on the spectrum may have more reasons to be anxious or stressed out. The reason is that, unfortunately, the dentist’s office is not the most autism friendly place to be with all strange sounds, bright lights, yucky smells, and all the strange faces approaching! This is the biggest challenge every child on the spectrum has to overcome and succeed at.
Visit the dentist’s office early:
Why should you visit your pediatric dentist early with your child with Autism?
That’s a good question!
Imagine you take your car to maintenance before anything ever needs fixing? It is exactly the same way. When you take your child early.
There is plenty of time to educate and “sensitize” the child to the dental environment. Plus, the beauty is at that stage they don’t have real dental needs, meaning no cavities, no gum issues etc. The sad fact is that some Children on the Autism spectrum maybe prone to experience more dental problems like decay! gum disease among others.
This may happen when oral sensitivity is a challenge and consequently oral hygiene becomes a battle with the brush.
Early intervention and prevention is key:
Children with autism sometimes can’t verbalize their complaints about dental problems.
That is how many children went undiagnosed for many months, before someone was able to understand that their poor feeding was actually as a result of a painful tooth. Cant stress it enough!
Regular dental exams are very necessary to your child’s oral health.
Prevention is better than cure we know with a child with Autism, it is really a savior.
Certified Autism Specialist? Can a dentist be certified in Autism?
You might have heard “If you’ve met one child with autism, you’ve met one child with autism.”
We know and appreciate how Children with autism are very unique individuals and each child has his/her own way to deal with. This needed depth of understanding requires the pediatric dentist to be well-qualified to treat unique children under the spectrum. Whether they have high functional autism moderate autism or even mild autism, speech delay or are non-verbal; the dentist for autism should be able to deal with them all and understand them all.
This is why being Certified Autism Specialist as a Pediatric Dentist goes above and beyond normal regular dentistry in helping a child with autism achieve the oral health needed. Also, helps the child accept dental care, accept oral hygiene from the parents, and limit food rewards among many more great benefits.
What can CAS dentist for kids do to help my child with Autism?
There are many things that certified autism pediatric dentist can do to reduce the chance of sensory overload and prevent meltdowns in the office. For example, the dentist will help book you as the first early morning appointment to have a fresh start for the child.
The dentist’s staff will be well trained to handle your child. A questionnaire will be sent ahead of time to capture all the important details about your child; for e.g. best cartoon your child likes, best phrases to use to convey to your child whats next music likes or dislikes.
The more the dentist for children knows these facts about your child, the entire dental team is prepared for your child’s upcoming visit.
Also more time can be allotted for your child’s visit.
Does CSA Pediatric Dentist utilize sedation?
The dentist will assess your child’s needs in the first consultation and advice if sedation or laughing gas (nitrous oxide) will lead to a successful outcome for treatment at the dentist’s office.
If all else fails! there maybe a chance your child is a candidate for treatment under general anesthesia if your child has so many cavities to be filled, or multiple teeth that need root canal treatment as baby teeth or maybe the use of stainless-steel crowns for children or even tooth extractions.
This treatment method will prevent your child from fighting or jumping from the chair out of fear and will absolutely keep your lovely one safe during dental care.
The great news is most children wake up with no recollection of what happened. It is the desirable choice for most parents to give children dental care they need.
Steps you can do before your first dental visit or appointment to help things run smoothly:
- Call your Specialist Pedodontist or the child dental office before the appointment to tell them about the special needs of your child. They will be sending you a social story to help familiarize your child with the “children dental clinic”. This uses ABA therapy to help your child
- Rehearse that Social story or visual schedule of the child dentist and the staff. These photos will make the pediatric dentist seem less of a stranger before the visit.
- Bring with you your child’s comfort items such as Ipad or tablet, stuffed toy, brush and even weighted blankets.
- Share with your dentist what can motivate your kid. We can prepare lovely prizes.
Looking for a CAS pediatric dentist in Dubai?
If you are in Dubai, our pediatric dental clinic is a great option for you. We understand how difficult for you to find a center for autism or a pediatric dentistry clinic in Dubai that caters for your child’s special needs.
The great news is despite all the challenges mentioned earlier for a child with autism to go to the dentist. A Certified Autism Specialist Pediatric Dentist will help your child receive the dental care he needs and deserves, all the while putting his needs first so his dental visit goes easily and smoothly.
Hope to see you soon at our office in Dubai Health Care City.
If you want more, Please read this Blog: My child refuses Dental Treatment? Help! Dr. Yasmin Kottait