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How To Provide At-Home Dental Care For Children With Autism

August 11, 2021

We love welcoming children of all ages and needs at Kildonan Crossing Dental Centre. 

Children with autism deserve high-quality dental service. We recognize they may need extra care to ensure they receive the right tools and knowledge for their lifelong dental journey. As parents and caregivers, you have an important role to play in your child’s dental health.

The Canadian Dental Association shared some tips on how to help children with autism with their dental health at home. And we’re here to break down these tips for you.

Tip 1: Create A Safe Dental Care Space 

It’s important to ensure your child has an environment they feel safe in for their dental routine. Make sure the space is calming and the child is away from any triggers like loud sounds or bright lights. If loud noises are a trigger, turn off all audio background in the house. In the case of bright lights, consider getting a dimmer for your bathroom. 

Speak in a gentle and calm manner and praise your child at every stage of their dental routine. 

Tip 2: Lead By Example

Show them how it’s done by brushing and flossing your own teeth, and practice opening their mouths wide open with them. Explain everything you’re doing and why it needs to be done. Encourage them to ask questions. 

Tip 3: Moving On To Brushing And Flossing

Gently touch the toothbrush to their lips, gums, teeth and tongue. This will help them get accustomed to the feel and sensation of the toothbrush inside their mouth. 

If a child is prone to closing their mouth suddenly, consider using two toothbrushes. Use one toothbrush to prop one side of their mouth open and use the other one to brush their teeth. We also recommend flossing. If it’s impossible to use dental floss, try a water flosser instead. 

Remember to do everything slowly and gently, and explain the different steps along the way. When they’re comfortable doing so, let them brush their teeth. Don’t rush it; let them work up to brushing and flossing at their own pace.

We recommend adult supervision up to six years old and some kids may need assistance for a few more years. 

Tip 4: Toothpaste Essentials

Use toothpaste with fluoride to help prevent cavities. 

For children under three, use a small amount (as small as a single grain of rice) if your dentist advises that your child is prone to cavities. If not, simply wet the toothbrush with water or use kid-friendly toothpaste. 

For children older than three years old, use a green pea size amount of toothpaste.   

Tip 5: Create Dental Routines And Habits

It’s essential for your child to brush and floss their teeth twice a day at the same time every day. This will help develop positive dental habits and familiarize them with daily routines. 

Schedule them for regular dental visits and start at a young age. We recommend bringing them in for a dental check-up within six months after their first tooth erupts or no later than their first birthday. The dentist will give you more information on how to best care for your child’s dental health. If you want to bring them in even earlier, just to get them used to the dentist and the clinic, that’s fine too! We can work slowly to get their comfort levels up.

Make sure you tell the dental clinic in advance about any extra care your child needs (eg. if they have specific sound/light/smell and other sensory triggers). Rest assured, we are here for you and your child and are with you every step of the way. 

Tip 6: Say No To Cavities

Lastly, ensure your child eats healthy and consumes less sugar. Sugar is the number one source of tooth decay and you can lessen your child’s chance of developing cavities by teaching them to eat healthier, less-sugary foods. Include teeth friendly foods and drinks in their diet such as cheese and milk. Drinking lots of water is another great way to keep their teeth and overall health in good shape. Dental sealants are also an option for your child to protect them from cavities. 

Winnipeg Dentists For Kids With Autism

If you are looking for a warm and friendly dentist for kids with autism, book a consultation with our team of dental professionals today. They are here to guide you and become lifelong partners in your and your loved one’s dental journeys. 

We are located in Transcona, at the corner of Lagimodiere Boulevard and Regent Avenue. See you soon!

Book Your Next Appointment Today!

We can’t wait to see you at your next dental appointment! If you’ve never been to our clinic before, we can schedule you for your first consultation - we are always accepting new patients.