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Making Dental Visits Easier For Children With Autism

Fear of the dentist is common, and many children find the thought of having a dental check up overwhelming. If your child has autism, however, you may find that it is almost impossible for him or her to get through a dental examination, and this can be stressful for the whole family.

Many everyday experiences can be very frightening or challenging for children with autism, and their parents often search for new ways to help them with this. When you're trying to overcome a fear or anxiety about visiting the dentist, there are many things that can be helpful, and we've outlined some of these below for inspiration. Remember, you know your child best, and if there's something that you feel would help your child to deal with this fear, you can talk to us at Guiney Dental Clinic to see how we can help.

How to Make Dental Visits Easier for Your Child With Autism:

  1. Start at home. A first visit to the dentist will be much more stressful if poor dental hygiene has created problems in the mouth already. Making sure that you have a good daily tooth brushing routine, in the morning and in the evening, can be the best way to keep teeth healthy. If your child finds it traumatic to brush their teeth, it may help to use a timer or a pictorial representation of the process, or to allow him or her to brush your teeth while you brush theirs. Some parents of children with autism find that brushing teeth while in the bath can help to distract and calm the child.
  2. Eat right. A diet that helps to prevent tooth decay will ensure that your dental visits go more smoothly. Making charts to demonstrate which foods are good for teeth can help your child to understand the process, and limiting sugary drinks and snacks can be especially beneficial for children on the autistic spectrum due to the connection between the gut and the brain, as well as the positive effects on teeth and gums.
  3. Prepare for a visit. Children with autism usually function better when they are able to refer to a plan or schedule and understand what they are expected to do. A pictorial representation of the planned dental visit can be a useful way to familiarize the child with the experience, following the process through from 'walking through the front door and sitting in the waiting room', to 'waving goodbye to the dentist as we leave'. It may also help to read books about dental visits, or to explore episodes of children's television programmes that include this experience.

Do You Need a Friendly Ballincollig Dentist For Your Child?

If you're a parent, it can be difficult to find a dentist who can put your child at ease, especially if he or she has additional needs. Here at Guiney Dental Clinic, we have the time and expertise to welcome your child into our practice and make him or her feel at home. For excellent dental advice and treatment, call Guiney Dental today on 021-481 0535.

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