If your child suffers from autism, they may be hypersensitive to things like touch, which makes dental appointments practically impossible. But regular dental cleanings are critical to your child's overall oral health, so you may be at a complete loss for what to do. Luckily, there are a few available options for you to consider to ensure that they don't get cavities and that they stay as healthy as possible.
Encourage Regular Brushing
While it may be really hard to get your child to brush their teeth, once they get the hang of the sensation and get used to doing it, it will be much better. If your child is still really young, try introducing them to the sensation of the toothbrush by just brushing their teeth with water after every meal. Then, do a more thorough cleaning both morning and night. Easing them into it and having them know what to expect can help with any sensitivity that they may have.
If your child is a bit older and they don't like having their teeth brushed, try doing different things like applying pressure to the back of their head a few times a day, which may help provide the same feeling as tooth brushing.
Visit a Special Needs Dentist
Not every dentist knows how to handle children with special needs. Because your child is sensitive to touch, pressure, and any sort of stimulation, taking them in to see a regular dentist may end up being more of a nightmare than anything. Look for a special needs dentist because they have experience working with children and adults with a wide range of needs and can accommodate them. When you have someone who specializes in special needs, it can make the experience a lot more relaxing for not only your child but for yourself as well because you won't be worried about your child freaking out and nobody knowing how to properly handle them.
If this is your child's first time visiting a dentist, then you may want to schedule a series of appointments leading up to their appointment so that you can ease them into it. For instance, during their first appointment, they may get used to laying down in the chair and looking up at the lights. Then, their second appointment may involve the dentist putting pressure on their forehead. Then, their next appointment may be putting pressure on the mouth. Easing into things when you have an autistic child can help eliminate a serious episode.
To learn more, reach out to a special needs dentist in your area.