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Autism and Dental Health

Oral health is a priority to maintaining a healthy life, but for many children that have autism, this is difficult to accomplish. With some determination and patience, it’s possible to overcome the challenges. Here are some tips to utilize with the help of your serving Newark dentists.

Assess Abilities

Your first step is to assess the child’s abilities. See how capable they are of brushing and flossing on their own. If they need some encouragement, show them how you do it. Explain the purpose of each tool you’re using and why it’s essential.

Routine Fun

Your oral care routine needs to be enjoyable for the child. It should be something that they look forward to doing. That’s why you should utilize pictures, videos or songs to go along with your morning and bedtime tooth-brushing time.

If your child is sensitive to brighter lights, loud sounds or certain smells, remember to be aware of this while constructing the routine. You want to minimize the distractions as much as possible. Always brush in the same location, at the same time and through proper positioning.

With Young Children

If you are working with a younger child, you only want to use a pea-sized amount of kids toothpaste. Make sure it’s fluoridated. It’s also helpful to allow them to pick their toothpaste and toothbrush. This allows them to be excited about brushing their teeth.

Gently put the brush on your child’s teeth. If they don’t fight, start brushing slowly. Work your way around all their teeth until they are clean. Make sure to reach every surface. Then, have them rinse their mouth out with water. If they are still patient with you, now is the time to introduce the floss. Flossers are a great way to clean the teeth without the cumbersome use of traditional floss.

Allow your child to move at their own pace with the process. It might take some time to get used to. Start slowly and implement new things as you can. Don’t attempt to do it all at once or you might overwhelm them.

Accomplishing dental care is in itself a great feat when working with autistic children. If you need additional help, be sure to reach out to your serving Newark dentists, Dr. Jones. Call our office today at (973) 375-5575.

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