Dental health is a very important part of healthy living. For some children, developing and maintaining oral health habits can be challenging. Colgate and Philips-Sonicare have teamed up with the folks at Autism Speaks to create a dental guide and video to provide tips for improving oral hygiene at home, as well as information about how parents and dental professionals can make a visit to the dentist’s office less stressful and more productive. We believe that this guide will provide information for families to help begin a lifetime of good oral care.
The following guide, tips and techniques were originally developed for children with Autism. However, we found that these tips and techniques are also helpful for children who are fearful of new experiences or going to the doctor’s office.
Click Here to Download the Dental Tool Kit!
The above video shows a child visiting the dentist and provides parents, educators, counselors and dental professionals with tips about how to make the experience more successful for their patients. Families and caregivers will learn how to find the right dentist and how to effectively prepare for a dentist appointment. The goal is to help the child and the dental professionals become more familiar with the process, which may result in less anxiety about going to the dentist.
The dental guide provides additional information for dental professionals about autism and what they can do to make each visit more successful. There is also information for families and caregivers about how to prepare for a dental visit, forms to use for your visit, and a visual schedule that can be downloaded and used to help the child understand the steps involved in a routine dentist appointment. Information about oral care at home is also included.
My Healthy Smile App for iPhone and iPods
The My Healthy Smile app was developed through a grant from Delta Dental of Minnesota to teach children about good oral health and to ease anxieties around dental visits. This app offers 11 audio & visual social scripts to show children what to expect at the dentist and how to have good oral care at home. Topics include: having your teeth cleaned, taking X-rays and getting fillings, losing a tooth, brushing and healthy eating.
Click here to purchase the My Healthy Smile App.
Oral Health Services for Children and Adolescents with Special Health Care Needs: A Resource Guide
National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center
Sam and the Sugar Bug, Leila’s First Visit to the Dentist, and Leila and the Tooth Fairy
by Humairah Shah
“Sam and the Sugar Bug” is the first in a series of books on iTunes by Doctor Shah that teaches children to brush in a fun and interesting way. With interactive narration and beautiful full color photos, the book promotes reading skills as well as teaches children the importance of brushing.
Available for Apple and Android.
“Leila’s First Visit to the Dentist” is the second in series by Dr. Shah that educates children in fun and interesting way. With interactive narration and beautiful color photos, the book familiarizes children with the Dentist’s office and also what to expect during a check up. It also educates them about importance of brushing their teeth. The books is popular with kids from age 2 to 8 and kids with special needs.
Available for Android.
“Leila and the Tooth Fairy” is another book from Dr. Shah that talks about kids losing their teeth. The story takes kids to the magic Tooth Fairy Land and educates them about eating a healthy diet and maintaining good oral hygiene.
Available for Android.
Preservice Health Training Modules
The Preservice Health Training (PHT) modules were designed to educate student and practicing primary care providers about working with individuals having developmental disabilities. Special Thanks to John R. Mink, DDS, MSD, Professor Emeritus Pediatric Dentistry, Division Chief Emeritus, College of Dentistry, University of Kentucky for helping develop this program. Dr. Mink is a long time friend of Drs. Jonathon and Brian Lee.
Autism Speaks Resource Guide
Visit our Resource Guide to find local dentists in your area who specialize in providing dental care to individuals with autism and other disabilities. We welcome new submissions to continually build the Resource Guide. If you know of any additional dentists that provide services for individuals with autism, please feel free to submit them here.
The D-Termined Program
“The D-Termined Program” is a program that Pediatric Dentists utilize to help children with autism and other special needs learn how to behave at the pediatric dentist’s office. Developed by Dr. David Tesini, a Practicing Pediatric Dentist and Associate Clinical Professor at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, “The D-Termined Program” demonstrates tips and techniques which may also be helpful for children without special needs but who are fearful of new experiences or going to the doctor’s office.
The Original “Dental Tool Kit” Article by Autism Speaks Can Be Read Here: https://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/tool-kits/dental-tool-kit
–Dr. Jon and Team HappyHealthyTeeth