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Does Your Child Have Special Needs? Here's How to Make Their Dentist Visits Run Smoothly

Does Your Child Have Special Needs? Here's How to Make Their Dentist Visits Run Smoothly

If your child has special needs, you already know there are plenty of aspects to their life that cause you to worry about them. Regular visits to the dentist’s office don’t need to be on that list.

At Smile Design Manhattan in the Midtown West neighborhood of New York City, our caring team of experts is committed to providing the best possible experience for all our patients, including those with special needs.

Based on our experience, here are a few tips on how parents of special needs children can help make their dental visits run smoothly.

Start early

The American Dental Association recommends that parents bring their children to the dentist when their first tooth comes in or by their first birthday — whichever is earlier.

That’s especially important if your child has special needs. The earlier you can help them adjust to this new environment, the less fearful and more cooperative they’re likely to be.

Act out dental procedures

Because special needs kids are often uncertain about new places and activities, it can help to act out some dental procedures for them at home before you come to the office.

Try something simple like having them lie back in a chair and teaching them to open wide. (You don’t have to scrape any plaque off their teeth!)

You could also get some dental toys to show them examples of the instruments we might use. It might also help to discuss basic dental procedures and their importance to your child’s oral health with them.

Follow a good oral hygiene routine at home

If you brush your child’s teeth twice a day at home, that routine should help when they visit the office; they’ll be more familiar with the sensation of having their teeth brushed. With an older child, you can even teach them to brush their teeth at their own pace.

Bring a comforting toy

Also, consider bringing to the office a toy or other item your child loves. That could be a stuffed animal, fidget spinner, blanket, or anything that helps reduce any anxiousness they might feel.

We know navigating life with a special needs child can be challenging, and our team does its best to support parents. If you’re looking for a dentist set up to treat special needs patients, get in touch with us here at Smile Design Manhattan today.

To learn more or schedule an appointment, call us at 646-278-4579 or use our online scheduler.


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