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Preparing Your Special Needs Child For The Dentist

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If you have a child with special needs, you are well accustomed to the extra footwork it can take to prepare them for new experiences. The standard family dentistry practice in the neighborhood might not cut it for your unique needs. When you look for a new dentist, find one that is known as a special needs dentistry. These dentists and their staff will have experience treating kids with a large range of mental or physical disabilities. When your child is faced with unique challenges and discomfort, you need a dentist who is prepared with the right tools and mindset to help you get the dental care. Whether your child needs major accommodations or just some extra reassurance, try to prepare. Here are three things you can do to help them have the best possible experience at a special needs dentistry clinic.

Communicate With Your Child

Talking with your child about an upcoming appointment can be a great way to help them work through any anxiety they may be feeling. Deciding how soon to start talking about it before an upcoming procedure is something parents should consider. If your child can handle talking through upcoming events and finds relief by asking questions and doing research, you can give sufficient time for them to prepare. Other special needs kids may struggle with that same anxiety and are better off with less time to stew on their worries. Letting your child know you will be at their side and showing them photos of the dentist's office staff can be a great way to prepare.

Read Books

You can find books about going to the dentist if you think this will help your child feel more prepared for their upcoming appointment. Your local library should have several books to choose from because visiting the dentist is a big event many parents find themselves struggling with. Finding books that use their favorite characters in the dentist chair can be a great way to lighten their thoughts about their future visit. 


Some special needs children might benefit from role-playing with you about their upcoming trip to the dentist. You can find a children's doctor or dentist kit with a few tools they can play with. Let your child practice laying still and opening wide for you. The more you explain about the tools they might see and procedures, the more comfortable they might be on the day of the big event.

Special needs dentists have the patience and skill needed to work with your child. You can look for a dentist that has experience working with kids who have disabilities similar to your family's unique circumstances. Preparing your child for a trip can be a great way to bring both of you peace of mind when the big day comes.

For more information, contact a local special needs dentist.