Join us in celebration of 2018 National Autism Awareness Month! National Autism Awareness Month represents an excellent opportunity to promote autism awareness, autism acceptance and bring attention to the dental health needs of children on the autism spectrum.
As we know, oral health is a very important component of healthy daily living but for some children with autism oral health habits can be challenging. The dental office can bring out unusual behaviors and heightened sensory sensitivities making clinical interactions difficult. Not knowing how the child will react can also be very stressful for parents/caregivers. In fact, it is not unusual for parents/caregivers to simply avoid taking the child to the dentist due to fear of a negative experience or previous failure at other medical or dental offices.
Kids Teeth is here to help alleviate these fears and provide you with the tools you need for a successful trip to the pediatric dentist. First and foremost, let’s learn a little about our doctor’s training for treating special needs patients.
Dr. Will and Dr. Mike have both undergone highly specialized pediatric dental training, which allows them to provide dental care for children of all ages, including those children with:
- Special healthcare needs
- Behavior disorders
- Mental disabilities
- Physical disabilities
This specialized training included an additional two years beyond dental school. They are also both Board Certified Pediatric Dentists, a voluntary certification process that furthers their pediatric knowledge (see chart below).
For many children on the autism spectrum we recommend calling us to set up an office tour prior to their first appointment to get acquainted with the office and our team. We’ve also created a social story, “My Visit to the Dentist,” which further defines what they will encounter at the dentist. Read the social story with your child to help them learn the routine or have your child read it independently. As you already know familiarity is the key – if possible bring in their favorite toothpaste, floss or toothbrush.
Next, practice at home or incorporate dental activities into their therapy. We understand that a trip to the dentist can be stressful for both the child and the family. Practicing some of these actions at home may help your child create a better understanding of what will happen during their dental visit.
Lastly, the entire Kids Teeth team takes pride in our abilities to care for our patients. We continually educate ourselves in order to serve all our patients with the highest standard of care. Each patient, no matter what his or her special needs, is treated equally and with respect at our office. If you have additional questions, give us a call. We are happy to help and look forward to seeing your family at our practice soon!