If you have a special needs child, their dental health and check ups can be a challenge. With a little planning and effort on your part, your special needs child will be able to successfully keep up with a dental routine and shine in the dentist's office. Here are four tips to help your special needs child's dental health care become routine.
1. Find Products that are Easy to Use
If your child has limited mobility or trouble with hand-eye coordination, try to find dental care products that can meet their needs. One-time flossing sticks can be easier than hard to grasp traditional flossing methods. Toothbrushes with holes for fingers or a larger handle grip can also help your child grasp their toothbrush and enable them to do to their own brushing.
2. Find the Right Pediatric Dentist Office
Dentists that specialize in child dental care are prevalent, but be sure to further vet pediatric dentists in your area to make sure they will be the right fit for your child. Make sure to set up a time beforehand and discuss your child's limitations. At this meeting you can size up if a dentist and their office space will be the right fit for your child. You will know best what kind environment will suit your child, depending on if they like things noisy or quiet, a colorful setting or a more muted office.
3. Practice "Dentist" at Home
Sometimes children with special needs and delayed development have a hard time rolling with the punches in new situations. Don't set your child up for failure at the dentist office just because they don't know what to expect. Get them used to the idea of what the dentist will ask of them (opening their mouth, laying back in the dental chair, etc.), and do a trial run at home before their visit.
4. Keep Waiting Room Time to a Minimum
If your child can get anxious or act out if they are in a situation where they need to sit still or wait, try to take this out of the equation when you get to the dentist. If you are close by, call ahead and make sure that the dentist is on time with their appointments. Fill out paperwork ahead of time online or at your initial meeting with the dentist so that this is all taken care of.
Dental care can be hard for any child, but if your child has limitations this can be even more difficult. With a few preparations, you can make sure that your child will be ready for their dental exam. Try your best to keep all areas of dental health for your special needs child a success.
Talk with pediatric dentistry clinics, like A Wild Smile, for more information and tips.