Supporting Children with Sensory Sensitivities - North Houston Moms

Creating a positive and comfortable environment is crucial for children with sensory issues during dental appointments. Here are several ways Wheeler Pediatric Dentistry in The Woodlands has ensured successful visits for children with sensory sensitivities.

Advance Communication

  • 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 Woodlands
    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.

 

Visual Supports

  • 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.

 

Noise Reduction

  • 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.

 

Dimmed Lighting

  • 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.

 

Pre-Appointment Visit

  • 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.

 

Flexible Scheduling

  • 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.

 

Patient-Centered Approach

  • 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.

Every kid who comes to Wheeler Pediatric Dentistry is unique. It is always the goal to meet them where they are most comfortable. By implementing these strategies, Dr. Jon and the 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. Schedule your appointment today!

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