fitting family dental visits into a crazy schedule

Three Tips To Prepare Your Special Need's Child For Their First Dental Visit

by Andre Daniels

If your child has special needs, you may be worried about how they'll react at their first dental appointment. Below are three tips on making your child's first and subsequent appointments easier—for them and for you.  

1. Practice Good Hygiene at Home

New environments can be scary, but even more so if your child doesn't have much experience with dental hygiene in general. It's important to start young, so as to instill a lifelong habit of good dental care.

Practice good dental hygiene with your child by brushing, flossing, and allowing them to do what they can to assist in the care and keeping of their teeth. This can make dental appointments easier to handle, as there is less chance of cavities and other painful issues.  

2. Role Play

Role playing is a great way for children of all ages to learn and adapt to new environments. If you have a child with special needs, it may be difficult for them to understand what will be happening during the visit. Role playing allows you to help your child become familiar with what will happen during the appointment.

Take turns with your child being the dentist and then the patient. Let them know what will go on during the appointment by having them practice opening their mouth wide. Make it fun by allowing them to be the dentist and take care of you!

3. Speak With the Office Staff Ahead of Time

If your child becomes easily overwhelmed in new environments, speaking with the office staff can be a good way to shorten your trip and get you in and out of the office as quickly as possible.

Medical forms and releases can usually be sent to you through fax or email so you can fill them out at home instead of doing so in the busy office environment. This will allow you to focus entirely on your child during the visit. It's also worth asking about accommodations for children with special needs similar to your child's, such as back door entry so as to bypass the noise and excitement of the office.

Make your child's first dental appointment as stress free as possible by following the three tips outlined above. If you're particularly worried, call and speak with the office staff and the dentist about your concerns, and ask what they can do for you and your child to make the appointment a non-event. To learn more, contact Glacier Centre For Dentistry