Patients are brought in on either a 6 week, 8 week or 3 month schedule
We allot a time that the child has 5-10 minutes to play and become comfortable before we come and greet them
One of our doctors and assistants meet the child (and parents) in the play area to greet them and ask if they remember us. (children on the spectrum usually remember us before we have the chance to say hello)
Child (and parents if they wish) come back to the recall area and we make small talk (to their level of understand) until they are calm.
One of our doctors and assistants use the PECS board to help the child through the appointment. The board allows the child to visually see how many steps they have completed and how many remain.
12 steps are included on the board and consist of: waiting area, sitting in the chair, chair down, light on, bib on, saying ahh, counting teeth, brushing teeth, fluoride, all done, present, and go home.
Half of these commands are quickly done by the child by the time they are in the chair. At the end of the appointment they get to pick a present and go home.
We try to complete each step at every appointment. Depending on the cooperation of the child, not all steps are competed and “that is OK” (as we share with the parent). What we like to see is that each time they come in that each step is easier for the child, and that if all steps were not covered at the last appointment, that we complete an additional step to further their progress.
We have had numerous patients using this program that have been very successful. Parents have the choice of being in the room with us, the next room over to “view” what is going on, or to wait in the front common area. They will know what is best for their child
During the child’s first visit with us, they are given a bag which includes items that we use here. These items include; toothbrush, plastic mouth mirror, floss picks, and a color copy of our PECS board so that the parents and child are able to familiarize themselves with this routine in the comfort of their own home.
A big concern is Early Childhood Caries (also known as baby bottle tooth decay or nursing caries). Children risk severe decay from using a bottle during naps or at night or when they nurse continuously from the breast.