How to prepare your child with special needs for a visit to the dentist

Posted on February 27, 2021 | About Us | Hot Topics

Blog Article about preparing children with special needs for visiting the dentist

Blossom is dedicated to providing the best care for children with special needs. Often, physical, developmental, sensory, behavioral, cognitive, or emotional impairment can put children at an increased risk for oral disease throughout their lifetime. If you have a child with special needs, it’s highly recommended that you find a dentist that’s trained to provide this care. 

First, set the dentist up for success

Before your child’s first appointment, make sure to share any helpful information with your dentist. At Blossom, we provide a Supplemental Health Questionnaire. This gives us more of an introduction to your little one. We want to make sure that we do everything within our control to create a calm and welcoming environment. We know that every child is unique with their own individual needs, so it’s always helpful to hear from you, the parent, before the first appointment.

Next, walk your child through a checklist

Walk your child through a picture story. Make sure your little one knows just what the appointment will look like. For example: “lay back in the chair.” Pair this sentence with a photo of a child looking calm in the dentist’s chair. From there, outline all elements of a dentist visit: the cleaning, suction (also called “Mr. Thirsty”), x-rays (photos) of their teeth, and be sure to include an image of a smiling child at the end! Make sure your kiddo knows the ins and outs of their appointment, and reassure them that it can even be fun for them!

What to do the evening before the appointment

If your child learns best through visuals, this might be another great opportunity to use a picture story to help your little one prepare for their appointment. It’s important to plan on some of your normal routines the day of the visit. Let your kiddo know that you’ll wake up, have breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed, and then head out for the appointment. 

Explain to your kiddo that he will meet some friendly new people when you get to the office. It’s also good to be prepared to wait a few minutes before it’s time for your appointment. We suggest bringing a toy or something entertaining to keep your little one busy for a few minutes. 

Tell your little one that his name will be called and that’s when he gets to go on the comfy chair! Then, finally, make sure your kiddo knows that at the end of his appointment, there’s a prize! 

Last, but not least

All of your preparation is to help ensure that your child knows that the dentist is a friend! Going to the dentist shouldn’t have to be scary. Our office does all that we can to make sure you and your little one feel safe and taken care of.

If you’d like to walk your child through a picture story of their first dentist appointment, CLICK HERE for a detailed resource.

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