According to Iqaluit Dental Clinic, a dental clinic can be a scary place for children. For a child with autism spectrum disorder, things can be overwhelming. As a parent, the mere thought of taking your autistic child for a dental visit may seem impossible. Let’s change that and figure out how you can prepare your child for a trip to the dentist.
1. Choose the right dental clinic and dentist –
This may seem obvious, but choosing the right dental clinic and dentist is very important when you want to take your autistic child for a dental visit. Visit dental clinics on your list and get a feel for those places. Dental offices that specialize in catering to autistic children would advertise the same and have a conducive environment for children on the autism spectrum.
Similarly, you’ll want a dentist who wouldn’t just provide great dental care, but also a great experience for your child. Ask to meet the dentist before you take your child for a visit and enquire about their experiences with children who have sensory sensitivities. Visiting dentists would give you a feel for the openness of the dentist and help you figure out if it would be a positive experience for your child.
2. Prepare your child –
After you find the perfect dental clinic and dentist, it’s time to prepare your child for the visit. This preparation period may range anywhere from weeks to months. Talk to your child about the dental clinic and the five senses. Let them know what they would see, hear, smell, taste, and feel.
Get specific with the details so that they don’t get surprised when they visit the dentist. For instance, talk about how the dentist may count their teeth, get close, touch the gums and teeth and shine a light in their mouth. If possible, ask for a video of a dental visit from the clinic and show that to your child so that he or she is better prepared.
3. Don’t rush it –
When you finally visit the dentist with your child, don’t try to force anything. If your child wants to leave after taking the first step into the clinic, just spend some time at the clinic and reschedule the visit. Buy stickers for your child to distribute to the staff, nurses, dentists, and other kids at the clinic.
This may help in destressing your child and get them more familiar with the people around them. If the first visit fails, you may visit the dentist with your whole family just chatting and spreading joy while he or she is doing paperwork. This may put your child at ease and get them familiar with the environment in the safety of his or her family.
Iqaluit Dental Clinic suggests that you use the above-mentioned tips to prepare your child with autism for a trip to the dentist. There’s no need to force anything. Be consistent and patient with your efforts and as your child gets familiar, he or she would have an easier time at the dental clinic.