Navigating Dental Care With a Child Who Has ADD or ADHD: Tips for Parents

Posted on: 21 August 2015

If you have a child with ADD or ADHD, you likely face a lot of challenges every single day. Convincing your child to take care of his or her teeth is just one of them. Luckily, there are things you can do to make dental care easier for your child and yourself. Take a look at these tips that can help you with your child's oral health:

1. Create a consistent routine

Creating a routine with a kid who has ADD or ADHD can be challenging, but it is also essential. If your child knows to expect a brushing session every morning or every evening at the same time, he or she will become more open to the idea. As a result, your child's teeth will get cleaner and be less prone to decay.

2. Minimise distractions while brushing

Kids with attention deficit disorders are usually easily distracted. To keep them on task, don't use toothbrushes that flash lights or play music. Don't talk about other things, and try to leave an ample amount of time for brushing.

For example, if your kid knows that he or she has to hurry or he or she will be late for school, the distraction and stress may be so overwhelming that your child can't focus on brushing.

3. Have brushing and flossing substitutes available for your child

If your child skips brushing once in a while or if you struggle to convince him or her of the importance of oral hygiene, you are not alone. Many kids with ADD or ADHD struggle with self care, and that includes brushing and flossing. Make life easier on your child by having some brushing substitutes available for him or her. For example a piece of sugar-free gum after a meal can help to move bacteria and debris off the teeth.

4. Schedule dental appointments strategically

In addition to not taking care of their teeth that well, kids with ADHD may fidget a lot in the dental chair. To cut down on that, schedule your children's dental appointments strategically. Don't bring in your child immediately after school, for example, when your child may be full of energy from sitting down all day long.

Additionally, if your child is on medication, schedule the dental appointment when their medication is working, not during the time just before your child takes another pill when the medicine is not in full force.

5. Bring a fidget toy

If possible, bring a small fidget toy for your child to play with as he or she sits in the dental chair. Fidget toys can be any handheld toys that allow your child to move their fingers around, and they help to keep kids calm and focused.

For more tips on dental health, contact a practice like Southport Dental.