April is World Autism Month and strives to increase understanding, acceptance, and inclusion of people with autism. This is certainly a cause that your pediatric dentist in Tucson can get behind! When it comes to thinking about dental visits for children with autism, it’s only natural to feel nervous. We’re here to help ease your worries and guide you through some tips that our patients have found useful.
See Your Pediatric Dentist By Age One
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that all kids should see their pediatric dentist in Tucson within six months of getting their first tooth or by age one. Dental appointments early in life can help make kids more comfortable with the experience. This is especially important for kids with autism.
Bring Soothing Items
Having some of your child’s favorite things available during a dental appointment can help them feel safer and more comfortable. Some ideas of soothing items you can bring along include:
- Fidget toys
- Communication tablets
Communicate With Your Dentist
Pediatric dentists have specialized training that helps us treat our patients with autism in a calm and comforting environment, and one of the most important things you can do is communicate with us before, during, and after appointments. Share your child’s diagnosis when scheduling, and talk to us about any accommodations they may need. We’re here to help all patients get the proper dental healthcare they need, and the whole team – from the front desk to the hygienist, the assistant, and the pediatric dentist should work together to make your child’s visit go smoothly.
Comfort at Home
In addition to seeing your pediatric dentist regularly, there are other tips you can try while you’re in the comfort of your home to help your child. For example, it’s common for kids to be uncomfortable with opening their mouths and having a dentist poke around at their teeth.
We understand! Working with your child to open wide while sitting still at home before their appointment can make it easier once they’re in the office.
Oral Hygiene Routine
Making oral hygiene part of your child’s routine can help reduce the risk of dental problems and make dental visits easier. Practice brushing their teeth with them twice a day for two minutes each time. You can even play fun music while brushing if this is something your child likes. Regular brushing can help kids become familiar with the feeling of a toothbrush as well as thoroughly remove plaque and bacteria from the teeth and gums. Find a toothbrush that your child likes and stick to the routine.
At our pediatric dental office in Tucson, it’s our mission to care for all growing smiles in an environment that’s comfortable, relaxed, and even fun. Talk to us about how we can help make your child’s visit special. We’re always happy to accommodate any special needs and listen to you and your child to make you both feel safe and comfortable.