What to Know About Orthodontics for Autistic Children

Dentist Blog

If you have an autistic child that is need of visiting an orthodontist, then you may be concerned about several factors. You may be concerned about the appointment itself or the treatment options and how your child will react. For example, traditional braces may not be an option due to the sensory issues related to your autistic child's diagnosis. If this is the case, here are a few things you should know about orthodontics and your autistic children.

Autism Experience

One of the first things to know when your autistic child needs an orthodontist is that the one you choose may not have experience with autism. There is a misconception that many professionals in the dental field or medical field have experience working with autistic children and patients in general. The truth is, many have not. 

Make sure before you narrow down the orthodontist you want to use that you have asked about their previous experience and that your child is in capable hands for their teeth and their autism. The experience may also be evident if their office has sensory rooms or if they offer special treatments that are advertised specifically for autistic children and special needs. 

Phases of Treatment

If you are considering traditional braces, you may want to consider having the braces done in phases. This is to allow your child to get used the pressure and feeling of the braces. The pressure and challenges the braces bring can cause your child to have meltdowns or to have some sort of reaction emotionally to the process. By doing this in phases, they can be better equipped for how to handle the process and what to expect. This can cut down on meltdowns and related issues that may occur due to sensory-related reactions.

Alternative Treatments

Be open to alternative orthodontics treatments your orthodontist may mention. You may be set on having alignment plates or traditional braces. The problem is these options may not work as well as another treatment plan. Be willing to be flexible with the options if it will help your child to get the treatment they need with as few meltdowns and emotional reactions as possible. 

These are just a few of the things to consider about your child and orthodontics. If you are still concerned about the upcoming appointments, contact your orthodontist. They can schedule a consultation appointment to discuss options and how to go about the appointments to work with your child's autism.


1 December 2018

Teeth And Tears: Dental Dramas Of A School Nurse

I have worked as a school nurse for decades. Children come to me with all sorts of scrapes and bumps and bruises. Black eyes from playing football, sprained wrists from falling off the monkey bars and stomachaches from too many sweets are common complaints. However, the issue that seems to cause the greatest angst is tooth problems. Sometimes a child will have a second tooth knocked out when playing sport and parents arrive in tears. At other times, children come to my office crying because their friends are teasing them about teeth that are discoloured or stick out. I take an active interest in the latest dental news so that I can give parents and children comfort and advice. I have included some of my collected wisdom on these pages. Perhaps this information can help you understand some options when faced with a dental problem. Thank you for reading.