Getting children to go to a dental appointment can be a challenge for many parents. Taking a youngster with special needs to a pedodontist can be an even bigger challenge, but there are ways to smooth the path to the dental chair. Pediatric dentists have unique expertise and extra training to treat children with special needs, and they’re familiar with a variety of approaches.
Though parents of children with special needs may be dealing with their children’s many other health needs, it’s important to not let their youngster’s oral health slip to the back burner. Children with developmental problems have a greater chance for bite problems, such as crowding, and poor jaw positions. Furthermore, children with delays in growth and development may take longer to get their baby teeth and adult teeth.
Everyone at the office of Perry L. Jeffries, DDS and Associates, PA is enthusiastic about treating your child’s oral health. It’s as important to us as it is to you and your youngster. In addition to our first-class, comprehensive dental care, we also have a welcoming, patient-focused environment in which each patient and his or her parents will feel at ease.
Parents of kids with special needs have additional nuances to keep in mind when lining up healthcare appointments. If your child has an impairment—for example, Down syndrome, a neurological disorder, cerebral palsy, autism or a developmental disability—these suggestions can help.
Start at an early age. Pedodontist advise taking a child to his first dental hygiene visit by the time he turns 1, and it’s especially important for a child with special needs. He (or she) can establish a positive relationship with the pedodontist at an early age, see dental visits as no big deal and get used to the dentist “poking around” in his mouth.
Prepare your youngster. Quell his anticipatory anxiety by explaining to him what to expect, tell him that going to the dentist is a normal part of life, and “practice” his visit by having him sit back in a recliner and open his mouth as wide as he can.
If your child is extraordinarily anxious, ask the pedodontist if you and your child could swing by so he can take a look at the office and some of the dental instruments. Even more importantly, have your child meet the dentist. Greet him/her warmly, which will assure your child that the dentist is no one to be afraid of. Patients with autism do particularly well if they can see the same dentist for every appointment. The more your child knows about what to expect, the more comfortable he’ll be when it’s time to sit in the dental chair.
The office of Perry L. Jeffries, DDS and Associates, PA has sophisticated and leading-edge equipment that will give us an overall view of every aspect of your child’s mouth and teeth. We set up all of our patients for a lifetime of excellent oral health. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for an appointment.
By Perry L. Jeffries, DDS and Associates, PA
March 30, 2023