Dental Options for Children with Sensory Issues

For children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or individual sensory issues, the sounds, smells, sights, and sensations of both a home oral care routine and a visit to the dentist can be overwhelming.

Are you struggling to maintain a healthy oral health routine for your child?  Are you concerned about having successful trips to the dentist?

At Pediatric Smiles Dentistry, we look at every child as an individual, and whether the diagnosis is SPD, ASD, or anything else, your child will always receive kind and compassionate care.  And as a parent, we will always do our best to help you provide a solid oral healthcare routine for you child.

What is Sensory Integration?

Sensory integration is how a person uses his or her five senses to process external stimuli. For those experiencing sensory processing disorders, this can impact daily routines and, thus, oral health.

Preparing for a Trip to the Dentist

If you anticipate that your child might have some dental anxiety, schedule a tour of our office before his or her appointment. This provides your child with the opportunity to become a bit more familiarized with the environment.  Our office is happy to accommodate these types of visits!

When you call to make your child’s appointment, feel free to let us know your concerns and your child’s specific needs. This information will us to better prepare and set your little one up for success. 

Before your child’s appointment share a book, such as Dr. Suess’ The Tooth Book or Peppa Pig Visits the Dentist.  This will help your child ask questions or share their worries with you prior to their visit.

At the Dentist

Once at the dental appointment, ideally, there has been communication with the office team, so they are better prepared to make your child have a comfortable visit. If we know you have concerns about your child prior to the appointment, we can schedule extended appointment times or more private rooms.  We also have special accommodations including sunglasses, turning off overhead lights, and decluttering workspaces.

Teeth Brushing at Home

For sensory seekers, tooth brushing might produce a calming effect. To ensure your child carefully brushes all teeth, consider using an electric toothbrush, and sing a song while they brush his or her teeth. 

For sensory avoiders, teeth brushing might be a daily battle. The flavor of toothpaste may be overstimulating. It may be worth looking into unflavored toothpaste options—or even simply using water with no toothpaste.

Are you looking for a welcoming, caring dental office?

Pediatric Smiles Dentistry welcomes children with sensory issues. Dr. Francois and his staff work diligently to create an environment that is a safe space for all children. With specialty training and over a decade of experience treating children of all ages, we would love to talk to you about your child’s unique needs.  If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to schedule a tour, consultation, or appointment today!