Monday 20 February 2023

Lupine Publishers| How to Prepare Children with Autism to Visit a Dentist?

 Lupine Publishers| Journal of Dentistry and Oral Health Care



One of the most common problems that parents with children with autism have is to take them to a doctor’s or dentist’s office. Even if the office environment is friendly and the dentist or doctor or their assistants are kind to the child, children who have autism do not like others to come close to them, touch them, and when they are alone, someone is in contact with their bodies. When children’s physical environment is invaded, they react to this behavior and do not cooperate with the other person, and sometimes they even become aggressive. It should be said that in many cases, these children are torn apart. There are many problems when a child visits a dentist’s office. For example, special smells, a tray of dental instruments, and devices and tools may pose a threat to the peaceful world of these children. For a child with autism spectrum disorder, a dental office is full of insecurity and, consequently, is an unpleasant place [1,2].

Preparation by Parents

Here are some simple solutions that parents can do to help their children with autism when they plan to go to the dentist’s office. Make a medical bag ready for your child; it is best to let him choose this bag by himself. Meanwhile, give him times to get acquainted with the tools inside the bag so that to find out what they are. After spending some time, show him what these tools are used for, and first try them on your own, siblings or someone else. The next step is to run the show with your child, pretending to be a doctor and treat him with these tools. Now ask your child to change his place with you, and let him try this tool on you, his sister or brother or someone else. You can also use a puppet or a stuffed doll or even your own pet to display these tools. Explain to your child what each device is used for, and let him access the toys toolbox and play with them freely. When friends, neighbors, and relatives come to your home, let them play with this gadget with your child, and then tell them to change their role with your child. Remember, if your child can find a playmate to practice with these tools, he will be great of help. If possible, give him a medical phone or more realistic tools to practice with them; however, in this case, you need to make sure your child is monitored and is safe. Give him a prize after each real meeting or show-up meeting with a dentist, or returning from the medical laboratory. Finally, play with your doctor’s true name when your child feels comfortable in the “Physician and Patient” game. In addition, along with this medicine toolbox, you can read books about meeting with the dentist too [3].

How to Take an Autistic Child to a Dental Office?

It can be difficult for every child to visit a dentist, but for a child with autism, referral to the dentist is very scary. Here are some tips for parents that will make this condition easier for their autistic children [4-6].

Before the Appointment

a. First Method: Try to get an appointment from dental centers that have been established for people with disabilities. These centers experience the treatment of disabled children and usually know what to do to make your child feel relaxed and happy during treatment. If your child needs something special at a specific time, please inform the center before visiting. You can also tell them about your child’s interests so that the dental center’s staff can talk to him about his interests while he is being treated [7].

b. Second Method: Consider the appointment for a day when your child is not busy. In order to minimize the stress on your child, it is advisable to rest well before going to the dentist. So, consider a day to visit that your child has not done much. This will reduce her stress and cry. In order to provide him with the ideal condition, it is advisable for the dentist to have free time before and after the visit so that he can cope with the situation well [8].

c. Third Method: Try to tell stories about the dentists for your child. Dentists are usually a frightening person for autistic children. So, if they know what happens when they are treated, their fear will be reduced.

d. Fourth Method: Talk to him about the fears your child may face. The mouth is a sensitive part of the body, and for some autistic children, this part has a special sensitivity. As a result, your child may have many concerns. Therefore, confirm his emotions and trust him; for example, you can tell him”It’s quite common for you to be afraid, so many people are afraid of a dentist. But I know this doctor. He always tries to be very careful and do his work the best. I know you do not want to go to dentistry, but the dental practitioner takes care of your teeth to make sure that they are healthy. We have to go there, but you may not love him. “

e. Fifth Method: Plan for a stimulus activity. For example: watching a movie, visiting his favorite park and even buying a small toy are things that can make your child happy. Before you go to the dentist, choose this activity and be sure it will be very helpful. Try telling your child about this encouraging activity, because he has hope for reaching that. For example: If your child has a lot of interest in the ribbons, tell him: “After dentistry, we go shopping and you can buy two ribbons.” As a result, when your child is in fear, he will think about his ribbons during the treatment. If you think that your child will be tired after dentistry, try to consider small activities. Do not use food as encouragement, because after the treatment, he cannot eat for a while.

f. Sixth Method: Give him food before leaving. Your child can not eat anything for a while after dental procedures. A hungry child is a child who easily cries and gets tired. Make sure your child has eaten her food, and then brush her teeth without any hurry [10-12].

When Visiting the Dentist

a. Method 1: Inform your child that you are ready to go to the dentist. Your child should brush his teeth before leaving the house. Let him bring something like a toy or any other device to the dentist office which makes him more comfortable. Do not hurry him because it can cause stress in your child. Try telling him the plan a few hours before you are leaving. This way, if needed, he can finish doing his work without any anxiety.

b. Method 2: Be extremely patient and kind. If your child is stressful, he will behave strangely because he actually fights emotionally. Be gentle and consider that it will not be easy for your child too. Try to do things in your car that your child is interested in. Play his favorite music, talk with him about your interests; or if he is interested in singing, try to sing a song together. You should know that your child needs to be assured about the condition; may ask you questions repeatedly, so give him a peaceful answer.

c. Method 3: Talk with the dental center staffs, and ask for help for the comfort and relaxation of your child. Perhaps they are able to create a situation in which your child can have a more pleasant visit to the dentist.

d. Method 4: Thinking of not being beside him, may cause this image that you are leaving him which may develop more fear and stress. Make assure your child that you would be in the waiting room if he will need you. If your child is getting disturbed by being away from you, ask the dentist to let you stay in the room with him.

e. Method 5: Encourage and admire her after the meeting. Tell her she has done this job very well, and keep on the encouraging activity you have been considering. This will make him feel better about doing anything. If your child has had bad conditions during the treatment (crying, screaming, etc.), you should tell him: “It’s not the courage to not be afraid, the courage is to face it, and you did it very well. Although the dentistry is scary and difficult, you did it “. Tell him you are proud of him [13].

Characteristics of Children with Autism

These children have certain behavioral characteristics, some of which include:

Impairment of speaking or not speaking at all, and repeating words and sentences spoken by people around him

i. Susceptible to restlessness and discomfort due to problems in the sensory process, anxiety, fears, and difficulty of communicating

ii. Exaggerated reactions to smells, voices, special tastes and other sensory incitements

iii. Excessive use of body movements to calm himself up, such as shaking hands and waving hands

iv. Failure to respond when calling his name so that the child seems to be deaf

v. Express the discomfort of breaking up routines and habits, and reacting to changes

vi. Restlessness and agility, the need to play and touch objects, and anything around

vii. Avoiding eye and physical contact

viii. Problems in social skills

ix. Obsessive-compulsive and adherence to them

x. Lack of effective self-perception of his feelings and others

xi. The difficulty in understanding security and risk aversion.

xii. Performing repetitive games for consecutive hours

Also, these children prefer to play alone and have little fancy imagination. Some may also have symptoms of hyperactivity and early angry [14].

Oral Condition in Children with Autism

Children with autism often have no differences with normal children in the structures of the teeth, but as these children tend to eat soft and sweet foods, they sometimes have muscle weakness around their mouth. As a result, the reduction in the efficiency of the chewing is observed, and even sometimes they tend to keep the mouthfuls long in their mouth, which increases the rate of caries in these children. Also, due to the inability to brush correctly, and the lack of proper cooperation with parents, caries, and gingivitis are more common in these children [15].

Read More About Lupine Publishers Journal of Dentistry and Oral Health Care Please Click on Below Link

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.