If your child has been diagnosed with autism, you may be worried about their first visit to the dentist. However, by taking a few simple precautions you can ensure that your autistic child has a successful first appointment at the dentist. Below are 3 things you should do.
Schedule the appointment in advance
The last thing you want to do is to suddenly spring the news of the dental appointment on your child, as this will likely alarm and upset them. Having a schedule can help a child with autism to understand and navigate the world. You should speak to you child and let them know about the appointment, what it will involve and when it will be taking place. Write it on the calendar and place a note on your child's bedroom wall or noticeboard so it becomes part of their schedule for the coming week.
Bring your child's favourite thing
If you child has a favourite toy or blanket that they like having near them, you should consider letting them bring it along to their first dental appointment. Having their favourite object with them will make your child feel more secure and comfortable. Without their favourite toy or blanket, they may begin to feel lost and afraid in the unfamiliar environment of the dental office. You should ensure that your child can see their favourite object at all times, even when they are in the dentist chair.
Meet and greet
You should arrange for the child to visit the dental office before their first appointment. This will allow them to get a feel for the place so they can understand that it is a safe place and not somewhere that they need to fear. If possible, you should introduce your child to the dentist, as this may help to eliminate some fear of the dentist on the date of the actual appointment. You should also privately explain to the dentist that your child is autistic before the appointment, as this will help them to ensure that the visit goes as smoothly as possible.
If you do these 3 simple things, you can make your child's first dental visit easier for both them and you. Remember, not all dentists will have a great deal of experience treating autistic children. If it is time for your autistic child's first dental appointment, you should contact a paediatric dentist who specializes in dealing with children.Share