Choosing a Minneapolis dentist can be difficult when your child has disabilities. Parents naturally want someone who will be sensitive to their child’s needs – whether those needs are physical, psychological or emotional. The average child tends to have some dental anxiety the first time he or she visits a dental office; that can be far more extreme in a child who does not like someone touching their face or their mouth, which is common among children with autism, for example.
Other disabilities might hinder children’s dental care because they take medications that are harmful to their teeth, they have limited diets that affect their dental health or they have physical limitations that make regular dental hygiene more difficult to achieve.
At Gendler Dental Center, we will always be sensitive to your challenges. We will take steps to address your fears or concerns, and help your child adjust to dental cleaning and exams as best we can. Here are a few ways we can help you.
Advise you in dental care at home
If your child is highly resistant to oral hygiene, don’t give up. Even if it seems hopeless , you should work to establish a routine that includes tooth brushing. Even children with severe autism have become regular brushers with the right tools (such as a visual schedule) and routine.
If your child has physical difficulties hindering brushing – such as the inability to spit – we can offer other options. For example, you might try using a fluoride rinse or fluoridated water instead of toothpaste. Though it’s not quite as effective, it will still help prevent tooth decay.
Talk to your Minneapolis dentist about whatever challenge may be holding you back in oral hygiene, so we can recommend steps that may help you at home.
Take your concerns seriously
If you have concerns about your child’s experience at the dental office, call and talk with your Minneapolis dentist about it. We will always take your worries seriously, and will do our best to discuss it with you and look for solutions.
For example: If your child does not respond well to new settings, perhaps a tour of the office could be arranged, so your child can become more familiar with the surroundings before his or her first official visit.
We will do everything we can to make your child as comfortable as possible with our dental care, but there are some limitations to what we can do. So, before you schedule an appointment, we encourage you to visit with us about our policies and expectations, so you and your child have the best experience possible.
If necessary, we can medicate
If your child is extremely sensitive to dental care or unable to sit still for a hygiene visit, we may want to consider sedation dentistry. We are qualified to administer sedation, which should greatly calm your child’s anxieties and facilitate the dental care needed. Read more about our sedation dentistry.
We know that caring for a child with disabilities – and overcoming myriad challenges every day – isn’t easy. You won’t find a lecture waiting for you at Gendler Dental Center about how well you’ve dealt with the oral hygiene challenge, but maintaining dental health for your child is imperative – so we encourage you to find a Minneapolis dentist who can be sensitive to your needs and give your child care he or she needs.