Creating a positive and comfortable environment during dental appointments is crucial for children with sensory issues. Here are several ways Wheeler Pediatric Dentistry in The Woodlands, TX has ensured successful visits for children with sensory sensitivities:
- Encourage parents to inform the Wheeler Pediatric Dentistry team about their child’s sensory sensitivities in advance.
- Share information about the sensory-friendly practices of our Woodland’s pediatric dental practice and ask for specific concerns or preferences.
- Encourage caregivers to plan at home before the visit.
- Here is a great resource for pre-visit planning: https://wheelerpd.com/children-with-sensory-sensitivities-tips-for-planning-a-successful-dental-visit/
Sensory-Friendly Waiting Area:
- Avoid loud or distracting elements in the waiting room.
- Use visual schedules or charts to help children understand and prepare for each step of the dental appointment.
- Display visual cues that explain the dental procedures using simple and clear images.
- Minimize loud noises, such as drilling sounds, in our pediatric dentistry treatment area.
- Provide noise-canceling headphones or earplugs for children who are sensitive to auditory stimuli.
Use Items that are Familiar and Calming:
- Encourage the child to bring a comfort item, such as a favorite toy or blanket, to hold during the appointment.
- Adjust the lighting in treatment rooms to be softer and less harsh.
- Allow the child to wear sunglasses if they are sensitive to bright lights.
- Offer pre-appointment visits for children to familiarize themselves with the dental office environment.
- Allow them to meet the Wheeler Pediatric Dentistry team and explore the dental tools in a non-threatening manner.
- Schedule appointments during quieter times to reduce the overall sensory input.
- Be flexible with appointment lengths to accommodate the child’s needs.
Use of Desensitization:
- Gradually introduce dental tools to the child, allowing them to touch and feel them in a non-threatening manner before the actual appointment.
- Use desensitization techniques to help the child become more comfortable with the dental setting.
- Take breaks during the appointment if needed, allowing the child to regroup.
- Be patient and understanding, adapting the approach based on the child’s responses.
We view every kiddo who comes to see us as unique. It is always our goal to meet them where they are most comfortable. By implementing these strategies, Dr. Jon and our entire pediatric dental team in The Woodlands, Texas, strive to create a more supportive and comfortable environment for children with sensory issues, promoting positive dental experiences and fostering oral health.