Special Care Orthodontics - Sensory Smart Specialists
Our team is more than willing to take extra time when it comes to providing orthodontic care for individuals with special health care needs. We understand that your child or young adult with sensory challenges needs continual support. Working with parents or caregivers on a consistent basis helps us determine the route of orthodontic appliances aimed for success.
Although treatment goals for patients with special health care needs may differ from traditional treatment, we strive to provide a similar experience for everyone. Pediatric specialists and the orthodontic team work together to formulate a patient-specific treatment plan. They continue to monitor oral hygiene and other preventive measures throughout the treatment process.
One of our top priorities is to help caregivers understand the depth of what orthodontic treatment entails. Orthodontic stages include:
All of this is possible as long as we are prepared, well informed, and diligent. We enjoy what we do and are thrilled that you are interested in helping us create an endless smile for your loved one.
Tips for Caregivers:
Research: Take the time to research and know exactly what the orthodontic procedure that is chosen will involve and talk to your child about the details. For example, you may need to explain x-rays and digital imaging models and why they are important to do. Then you might want to show them what a bracket or Invisalign tray looks and feels like.
Appointment time: To allow extra time, less waiting and a quieter environment we have created appointment times that will result in the most success. We recommend relaxing and familiar activities to help desensitize after the appointment.
Environment: Bring your child into the orthodontic treatment area to meet the team and inspect the environment. Perhaps you can ask a team member to show your child some of the instruments or materials and explain a procedure. Make sure you are continuing a strong oral hygiene routine so that he/she is desensitized to things in the mouth.
Know your child’s tolerance: Some children/teens can be overly sensitive or even under sensitive at times. Let the doctor and team know about any sensitivities so that they do not surprise or accidentally induce anxiety. Give the team ideas to help ease your child through each appointment. Be there to help as needed.
Distraction: Plan to bring items from home that may help distract from anything that might make them feel anxious. Some ideas include sensory toys, a video, a game, a song, or counting out loud. Bring or do something that helps them feel happy and safe.
Hand Signals: Instruct your child/teen and the orthodontic team to use hand signals if she/he needs a break.
Reward: Make a plan to reward your child for a job well done so there is something to look forward to after your appointment.
Enjoy: There is nothing we love more than making each visit to the orthodontist happy and successful. Come with an open mind and loving heart and enjoy the experience of the possibility that your child will have a beautiful smile for life!