When you have a child with special needs, everyday tasks can be challenging. Taking your child to the dentist is difficult enough, but a child who sees the world differently can see sitting in a dental chair for a simple checkup a real nightmare. It's important for the health of your child and your own comfort to find them a dentist who can gently and expertly care for them while minimizing stress and fear. Here are things you should look for in a dentist for your special needs child.
Dentists who specialize in pediatric dentistry often take their studies one step further and gain a deeper knowledge of children with special health needs. They typically have larger exam rooms for patients so their loved ones can sit nearby, and use calming colors and a non-crowded atmosphere to inspire comfort. Call your insurance company for a referral to a dentist who makes this type of patient a priority or call around to see if a specialist is in your area.
The key to helping a child with specific needs with their oral care, be it a checkup, X-ray, filling, or deeper procedure, is making sure to set aside time for longer appointments. A dentist who is willing to set aside a larger slot for a child who may have difficulty in their exam room is one who understands that they can't simply pull out tools and work on your child's mouth. They know that a child will want to be reassured, consoled, and shown exactly what is going to happen and why to help them feel more comfortable and safe.
A child with special needs often has sensitivity to sound, certain textures, and even sights. Choose a dentist who has healthy distractions in their office, such as televisions on mute in the room, a fish tank for its calming effect, and a cloth coating they can put on their exam chair if your child is averse to vinyl or leather. This can help your young one feel like they are in a safer environment.
If you are unsure about choosing a dentist for your child, then talk to their regular doctor or behavioral therapist for a referral and to give you guidance about ways you can help your child feel more confident about dental care. The more you learn about how you can assist your young one in giving them confidence in a dental clinic, the more positive their visits can be. For more information, contact a business such as Apollo Dental Center.