How to Prepare a Child with Autism for A Dental Appointment

Being the parent of a child with special needs presents its own set of unique challenges. While parents of all children may be apprehensive about taking their child to the dentist, it can be daunting to bring a child with autism to the pediatric dentist.

To help, Harrisburg Pediatric Dentistry has some advice on how to prepare a child with autism for a dentist appointment.

Harrisburg Pediatric Dentistry Specializes in Special Needs Dental Treatment

How to prepare a child with autism for a dentist appoinementAs a pediatric dentist office that offers specialized treatment for children with autism, we want to offer our best advice for preparing your child for dental appointments. The pediatric dental specialists at Harrisburg Pediatric Dentistry have advanced training which allows them to interact positively with special needs children, including using behavior management solutions and sedation techniques to help your child feel safe and relaxed.

Explain The Process

Your child is less likely to be nervous or scared if they know exactly what is going to happen to them while at the pediatric dentist. Help prepare them for their visit by telling them step-by-step what they will experience, from sitting in the waiting room to having their teeth cleaned. If you’re unsure exactly what the steps are for these appointments, reach out to your child’s pediatric dentist so they can send you a list.

Show Pictures of the Office and Staff

Introduce your child to the pediatric dentist’s office, their dentist, and any other staff they may interact with by showing them pictures prior to their appointment. Call or email your pediatric dentist office and see if they can provide you with these photos and names of staff.

Play with Dental Instruments

More often than not, children – special needs or not – are scared when they see the dental instruments. Harrisburg Pediatric Dentistry recommends borrowing some instruments or purchasing a toy set of them to help your child become familiar with them.

Positive Reinforcement

Children with autism are often influenced with the promise of a reward. Discuss a reward with your child and be prepared to follow through with it after their dental appointment.

Practice Good Dental Hygiene at Home

Your child’s teeth should be brushed twice a day and flossed daily. A good dental hygiene routine will not only make dentist visits less scary, but it will make them quicker and easier. Practicing healthy dental hygiene will help prevent cavities and more uncomfortable procedures like fillings.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Harrisburg Pediatric Dentistry can accommodate your child with special needs, contact us.

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