Dental Care and Your ADHD Child

Posted on: 22 June 2016

If you have a child with ADD or ADHD, there are no doubt many challenges in your everyday life that you have to face head on. A common challenge is convincing your ADD/ADHD child of the importance of taking care of his or her teeth. Indeed, a 2007 study found that children with ADHD were more likely to have poor oral health behaviours than neuro-typical children. Luckily, there are things you can do to instill good dental care habits in your child; read on for some tips that will make this minefield easier and more manageable for both you and your child.

Create a routine and stick to it

While creating a routine with a kid with ADD or ADHD can be a challenge, it is necessary that you do so. Sufferers of ADHD and ADD actually flourish when they have a strict routine, so if your child knows what to expect each day when it comes to dental care, and if you patiently use guidance as he or she gets used to the routine, it will eventually become second nature. Your child should be brushing at least once, preferably twice, daily; due to poor executive skills, he or she may not have much of an idea of how long two minutes is (the recommended amount of time for brushing the teeth) so it's worth getting a timer to help out. Also, stress the importance of flossing and make that a part of the daily routine.

Keep distractions to a minimum

One of the most common symptoms of attention deficit disorders is, not surprisingly, the inability to focus on the task in hand. Therefore, it's important to keep any distractions at a minimum. Avoid flashing toothbrushes, keep any toys out of sight, and keep talk to a minimum.

Plan carefully for a successful dental visit

A 2013 study showed that the best time for a patient with an attention deficit disorder to visit the dentist was in the morning about 30-60 minutes after taking medication, so try and make sure any dental visits are made at that time. Be sure to avoid any visits after school when your child's meds are wearing off and he or she is potentially full of energy after sitting down all day. A visit that is planned strategically should help cut down considerably on fidgeting, though it is advisable to bring a fidget toy with you to keep your child occupied and to help minimize any stress that he or she may be feeling. 

For more information, contact a clinic like Shellharbour City Dental.