Special Needs Dentistry
Dental care can be challenging for children with special needs. Some children have developmental delays that make it difficult for them to handle self-care routines, some have sensory issues that can make brushing and flossing uncomfortable (and even painful), and others can have severe anxiety or behavioral challenges that can turn any new experience into a possible meltdown.
Dr. Kate has experience treating children with a wide variety of special needs. She understands that each child is a unique individual and that you, as the parent, know your child and their needs the best.
You are a vital part of your child’s healthcare team, and Dr. Kate will consult with you to learn the best ways to approach your child and which interventions are most likely to be effective.
One of our goals is to create a customized treatment plan and a dental hygiene routine that is realistic and maintainable for both you and your child. Ideally, we’d like to help you find solutions so that you can maintain good dental health and avoid dental problems that are likely to be upsetting and overwhelming to your child.
Many children with special needs do best when they know what to expect and thrive on routine. One of the techniques we often recommend is having a series of “happy visits.” During these visits, we give your child a tour of the office, talk about dentistry in general and why it matters, and learn more about your child. This helps your child become accustomed to the office and build rapport with Dr. Kate so that trust can happen.
We also plan to keep each visit consistent, following a regular routine and keeping your child teamed up with the same hygienist. Again, this helps to build rapport and trust, two key components to a good working relationship.
Sometimes, changing the frequency of the visits can lead to improved results. Some children do better with less frequent visits while others can actually do better with more frequent appointments. We’ll discuss your child’s individual needs with you so that we can determine the most appropriate appointment schedule.
Your Child’s Needs Are Our Top Priority
We hope to also build an excellent relationship with you as well. It’s important for you to feel comfortable and confident discussing your child’s needs. You’ll find that Dr. Kate is compassionate and empathetic and that she listens carefully so that she can fully address your questions and concerns.
Some parents of children with special needs avoid dental care altogether because of the challenges that it can represent. We understand that you have a lot on your plate, but it’s much better to address the problem head-on. You never know; your child might surprise you!
By gently introducing dental care and taking the time to get to know your child, we can gain your child’s trust and provide needed dental care. Unfortunately, neglecting dental care can have a range of negative consequences for your child, including potential pain and infection. If your child is not familiar with a dental setting, visiting the office when he or she is in pain and in dire need of treatment will only increase anxiety for future visits.
Call to Schedule a Consultation With Dr. Kate
Do you have questions about Shoreline Children’s Dentistry? We are happy to schedule an appointment for you to meet with our pediatric dentist, Dr. Kate Glazer, to ask her questions, discuss your child’s needs, and create a plan for treatment. Call today to schedule your appointment.