It’s easy for your child to feel overwhelmed by a dentist visit. There are a lot of tools in their mouth, they have to stay still, there are people wearing uniforms and bright lights, it can all be overstimulating. Here are a few ways you can try to make the process easier.
Find a Special Needs Dentist
There are many dentists who can help your child feel more comfortable. Many have worked extensively with children on the autism spectrum, and know how to help them through the overwhelming parts of the visit. It’s important for your child’s well-being that you find a dentist who can be patient with them. The difference between a good experience and a difficult experience for your child is the dentist’s ability to adjust based on their comfortability. It helps if you know what to look for in a special needs dentist. Do an internet search for special needs dentists in your area, or ask other parents with special needs children for recommendations.
Bring Helpful Tools
When your child is going through the overwhelming process of a dentist appointment, it can help to distract them. Bring some of their favorite comfort items with you for them to hold and play with while the dentist works. Some other options you can bring with you are sensory items like sensory mats or fidget spinners. These give your child something to do with their hands, and can help them from feeling overwhelmed and helpless over what’s going on around them. You know your child best, and you know what tools will best help them get through the experience.
Practice at Home
Sometimes, the scariest thing about the dentist is the element of the unknown. It can help to rehearse the dentist’s visit when you’re at home. Make it into a game! Put on a goofy voice, sit them in a chair, and walk them through every aspect of the process. Tell them what things might feel like, where it might hurt a little, and help them know what to expect. Giving them some information, and some insight into what’s going to happen can help ease the scariness of it all when the time comes.
Taking your child to the dentist is stressful for every parent. Because your child can have a more difficult time in this type of situation, it’s doubly hard for you. However, these are just a few things you can try to make the process less stressful for you and your child.
Check out this article for tips to avoid an expensive trip to the dentist!