Taking your child to the dentist is never a welcome event, but if you have an autistic child, dental visits can be even more of a stressful situation than usual. Children with autism are easily disconcerted in unusual situations, and a visit to the dentist office could easily be all it takes to trigger an all-out meltdown. Part of making sure your autistic child gets good oral care from a dentist is making sure you do your part to find the right dentist for your circumstances. There are a few attributes you should look for in a dentist for your autistic child.
Look for a dentist that allows you in the room during treatment. Some pediatric dentists do prefer that parents stay in the waiting area while their child is being treated just to make the process a little easier. If a parent is in the room, the child will naturally resist a little more than usual. However, for a child who has autism, no one knows better how to calm them than the parents or caregivers who are with them daily. Therefore, it is a must that the dentist knows and is okay with the fact that you will be present during exams and treatments.
Make sure the dentist has private treatment rooms. A lot of pediatric dentists have an open floor plan where portable walls separate one patient from the next, which can mean a lot of noise. For an autistic child, it can be incredibly alarming to be in a room filled with commotion when they are already under the stress of an unfamiliar situation. Therefore, the dentist office you choose should be equipped with private treatment and exam rooms that can be completely blocked off from the rest of the facility and the noise.
Find a dentist who is familiar with autism and treating children with autism. Perhaps the most important thing you can do for your child when it comes to finding the best dentist is to look for one that specifically has professional experience treating children with autism. A dentist who has experience will better be able to anticipate your child's needs. For example, autistic children may be alarmed by the chair going back with them in it, so the dentist will already know to put the treatment chair in a reclined position before your child sits down.
For more information, contact professionals like Dentistry For Children & Adolescents.Share