Dentist Tips for Aspergers and HFA Children

Children with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism (HFA) have the same rate of dental problems as the general population. As hard as it is for most children to go to the dentist, it’s even harder to have a positive dental experience for kids on the autism spectrum. Even so, there are some things you can do to improve the dental experience for your child.

Click here for some tips (some will work and some won't, but everything here is worth a try)...

10 comments:

  1. Same thing here. It has to do with the sensory issue, more than any fear.

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  2. My son for the first time was 9 when he finally went and that's is his obsession with not losing his teeth.

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  3. One thing I WILL not do is take my son to a dentist who uses physical restraints. I'd rather my son miss an appt than be scared half to death by a dentist who uses those papoose boards! Luckily my dentist doesn't at least to my knowledge. I always go in with my son. I've heard a lot about these devices lately.

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  4. I used music. My son has to have a Zune with Toby Keith playing and he is great!

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  5. Please let parents know to always stay w/their children at all Dr. visits. Our children are very misunderstood and are sometimes considered defiant or difficult but we all know that is not true. I finally found a special needs pediatric dentist. It was costly but worth it!

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  6. From the article: "Some Aspergers children respond well to being lightly wrapped in a small blanket during the examination..."

    The American Dental Association (ADA) notes that the AAPD guidelines state when stabilization is used, it should always be the least restrictive, but safe and effective. In addition, parental permission must be obtained prior to using a papoose board and noted in the child’s dental record along with the length of time the papoose board was used and how the child behaved during its use. AAPD indicates that the use of a papoose board might be indicated when: (a) patients require immediate diagnosis and/or limited treatment and cannot cooperate due to lack of maturity or mental or physical disability; (b) the safety of the patient, dental staff, or parent would be at risk; (c) movement of sedated patients needs to be reduced.

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  7. Also, ask the dentist and hygienist to do the treatment and exams in a more upright position. Tipping the head back in a reclined position increases anxiety for many children with ASD due to the hyper responsivuty of the vestibular system.

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  8. Also, ask the hygienist and dentist to do the treatment and exam in a more upright position. Being fully reclined with the head tipped back creates an autonomic nervous system response for many ASD kids due to the hyperesponsivity of the vestibular system. Try allowing the child to use the controls to tip himself back.

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  9. My son wore sunglasses during the exam so the harsh lights weren't as bad - it helped!

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  10. For about 30% of patients, the origin of their dental phobia dates back to childhood and is due to traumatic experiences during dental treatments !
    I hate dentists :)

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