While there are many children afraid of going to the dentist, it can be especially changing to bring a child with special needs to the dentist. A parent must find a dentist that specializes in treating children with special needs and will work to make the child comfortable.
When scheduling an appointment it is important to bring the children when they are young so they get used to being in the dental office. The appointment should be scheduled when the office is not busy to help reduce anxiety. Before the actual appointment, the parent should take their child to visit the office so they can see it is a happy place and nothing to be afraid of.
When the child with special needs is at the dental appointment. There are some things that the dentist can do to make the child more comfortable. They may dim the lights so they are not so bright. A child can take in a special toy or object from home for comfort that they can hold during the dental procedure. Picture books can be used to explain what is going to happen during the appointment. If a child is in a wheelchair the staff needs to make them as comfortable as possible.
The dentist and the staff should have training handling children that may show problem behaviors during the procedure. The parent should be allowed to stay with their child to help handle these behaviors. It is also recommended that the child wear sunglasses or earplugs to help reduce the glare from the bright lights and the noise from the dental procedure. If the child is a fan of movies, the parents may want to bring a portable DVD player so a child can watch the movie as a distraction during the procedure.
Special needs children need to take regular care of their teeth. A dentist may be able to recommend a special toothbrush and other oral care products for children with sensory issues, limited motor skills, and other special needs. The best dental care is the prevention of any problems and the mouth needs to be kept healthy.
All children including those with special needs need to get care from the dentist. When looking for a dentist a parent should look for one that specializes in working with children with special needs and knows how to comfort the child during the procedure. Learn more here about tips to prevent dental problems with kids.