If your child has autism, taking them to see the dentist can often be very overwhelming and scary for your child because there will be so many things that they have never seen before. If you want to be sure that your child's first dental exam goes as smoothly as it possibly can, consider asking the dentist if your child can come for a tour of the facility a few days before their actual exam is supposed to take place. Use the guide below to learn how to use the tour as a way to make your child feel comfortable and safe in the new environment.
Explain What the Machines Do in Terms Your Child Understands
Autistic children can sometimes have difficulty comprehending concepts that their peers may be able to understand with ease. Explain what each machine does to your child in terms that are easy for them to understand and bring pictures of the machines being used to allow your child to get an idea of how they may be used on them. For example, you can bring a picture of a dental X-ray to show your child with that particular machine does.
Introduce Your Child to Their New Dentist
Being able to build a comfortable rapport with the people that will be caring for your child is important, if you want the appointment to go as smoothly as possible. Introduce your child to their dentist and the hygienist that will be assisting the dentist on the day of the appointment. Explain to the dentist the specific needs of your child and let the dentist explain to your child exactly what will take place on the day of the exam.
Take Note of Your Child's Anxiety Level
Take the time to monitor your child's anxiety level. You want to be sure that your child feels as relaxed and calm about the office visit as possible. Ask if he or she has any questions and let them know that you will be coming back soon to see everyone again. If your child has a lot of anxiety over the thought of someone working on their teeth, there are sedation options to consider to make sure the procedure is not traumatizing for your child.
On the day of the appointment, be sure to explain everything to your child again. Bring things with them that make them feel most comfortable and try your best to remain calm and patient. If the first appointment goes well, it will make future appointments easier because your child will know that there is nothing to fear.Share