Sensory Processing Disorder Dentist Ideas For Kids 

Going to the dentist can be difficult for those who don't struggle with anxiety or Sensory Processing Disorder. It can be extremely challenging for a child or an adult. 

As a parent, one of the most daunting tasks can be taking your child to the dentist. For a child with Sensory Processing Disorder this experience can be even more challenging. 

This can result in children being overly sensitive or under sensitive to certain stimuli, making a trip to the dentist a sensory overload for them. 

I wanted to create a list of ideas to help those who find dental appointments as stressful as my children and I do. There are strategies and tools to ease anxieties, reduce stress and make it a lot easier to go to the dentist. 

child with sensory processing disorder at the dentist Sensory Processing Disorder Dentist Ideas For Kids

- Play calming music in your child's headphones to listen too during the appointment. 

- Dress your child in tighter clothing (compression clothing) or heavy (weighted) clothing for their appointment.

- Use vibration sensory tools to help your child before their dental appointment (electric toothbrush/Nuk Brush) 

- Wearing an X-ray vest during your child's appointment can provide deep pressure. 

- Explain what happens at the dentist to your child step by step so they know what to expect. 

- Bring fidget toys to the dentist for your child to distract them. 

- Practice breathing and mindful activities in the day prior and day of your child's dental appointment. 

- Schedule your child's dentist appointment around their most regulated time during the day.

- Provide a chewy snack for your child before visiting the dentist.

- Heavy work activities to fill their sensory diet before their dentist appointment. (proprioceptive input) 

- Use toothettes on your child's gums and teeth before their dental appointments.

- Read social stories to your child a week or two prior to their appointment so they are prepared. 

- Wearing sunglasses can be very beneficial for blocking out the dentist's bright lights. 

- Take your child to a pediatric dentist who is familiar with Sensory Processing Disorder. 

- If it will be easier for your child, ask their dentist to dim their lighting. 

- Bring noise-cancelling headphones to your child's dental appointment. 

- Bring a weighted lap pad, sensory weighted vest or weighted animal  to your child's dental visit for calming and extra proprioceptive input. 

- Talk to your child and communicate with them during their dental exam. 

- Ask your child's dentist if they can offer different flavors. 

- Explain your child's needs before you attend and ask if they have a trained professional to work with your child.

For some children with sensory differences, even with all the preparation and accommodations, a trip to the dentist may still be too overwhelming. Sedation dentistry may be an option. This involves administering medication to help your child relax and feel more at ease during the appointment. Consult with your child’s dentist and ask what would be best for your child and what options are available. 

Taking a child with sensory processing disorder to the dentist may be a challenging task, but with the right preparations and accommodations, every child is different, and what works for one may not work for another. Be patient and understanding, and work with your child’s dentist to find the best approach for your child. 

Helpful Sensory Tools To Help For Dentist Appointments 

Ninjas Go to the Dentist Paperback
Life is hard! And it’s even harder for children who are just trying to figure things out.
The new children’s book series, Ninja Life Hacks, was developed to help children learn valuable life skills. Fun, pint-size characters in comedic books easy enough for young readers, yet witty enough for adults.
The Ninja Life Hacks book series is:
Geared to kids 3-11
Perfect for boys & girls
Early readers
Grades K - 6th grade and up
Excellent resource for counselors, parents, and teachers alike

Sensitive Sam Visits the Dentist
Going to the dentist can be frightening to many kids, but especially those with sensory issues and autism. In her marvelous second book, Marla Roth-Fisch explores a trip to the dentist with our protagonist, Sensitive Sam. Join Sensitive Sam as he learns to understand and overcome his fear of the dentist!

“Having a good first experience with going to the dentist will help a child with autism tolerate the dentist. This book will help children on the spectrum better understand visits to the dentist.

Toddler Headphones Wireless Kids Headband Headphones
Volume Safe Soft Earphones with Wired Plug Adapter & Travel Bag for School Home Car Airplane
Since 2015, CozyPhones has sold over one million headband headphones. We've listened to our customers and made CozyPhones 3.0 the best CozyPhones yet by incorporating five major improvements in features. Read on to learn more about the features and benefits of CozyPhones 3.0.
The auxiliary cable comes with in-line controls for volume and audio control functions. This allows you to easily control volume and other functions without having to remove the headset.

Tomons Toy Doctor Kit for Kids - 38 Pieces Kids Pretend Play Doctor Toys with Stethoscope Dentist Model, Medical Kit Doctor Play Set
 Help your child reduce their anxiety of a doctor’s appointment as they engage in Doctor role play with Tomons kids Doctor kit. It also can help children learn about the human body and clean his teeth when pretending to be a Dentist.
The stethoscope produces an authentic real-life Heartbeat sound and the blood pressure cuff is squeezable. Batteries are included for your convenience. Your child will immerse themselves completely in their imagination with this Medical kit.
All 38pcs can be stored into the sturdy Doctor kit case. Variety of doctors' tools, super durable, easy clean , not contain any sharp objects. The case comes with a handle, easy storage and take away for travel.

The Night Before the Dentist Grab your toothbrush and get ready for a trip to the dentist in the latest big moment to be celebrated in Natasha Wing's best-selling series!
It's the night before a young boy's check-up with the dentist. He's lost four teeth, and two big ones have come in already! So what does he do? He brushes and brushes his teeth to make sure his smile is super bright, of course! Join him on his journey to explore the ins and outs of the dentist's office in this delightful story, told in the style of Clement C. Moore's classic tale.

Wooden Dentist Kit for Kids, 41 Pieces Toy Medical Kit with Stethoscope & Medical Storage Bag, Montessori Pretend Doctor Kit 
This kids medical kit with a storage bag includes everything your kids need for a pretend play doctor game, realistic patient care and treat kits, realistic dental care kits.Kids can comprehend the uses of different medical tools.
This toddler doctor playset is made of natural high-quality wood, which is stronger and more durable than breakable plastic material and can withstand being tossed and thrown around. Smooth and soft edges make sure safety use for your baby. ASTM meets the US toy standard.
The wearable stethoscope can hear the heartbeat sound. Kids can start with a patient appointment by a toy phone. 

Ellie Visits the Dentist
Ellie is excited for her first appointment with the dentist until she discovers that she has cavities that need to be filled. With the help of her kind and caring dentist along with her mom, Ellie learns that properly taking care of her teeth can be fun and the dentist’s office does not have to be a scary place to visit.
Visiting the dentist for the first time is often frightening for many children since they do not know what to expect. Receiving the unwelcome news that the child may require dental work will likely amplify this fear. Ellie Visits the Dentist is the heartwarming story of a little girl who experienced these same fears. Though she is scared when it is discovered that she has cavities, her kind dentist helps her through the process and Ellie realizes that the dentist's office is not a place to fear.

Kozie Clothes Kozie Cushy Sensory Weighted Lap Pad
Our Cushy, Kozie Weighted Lap Pad is a great Sensory Strategy designed to help with self-regulation, calm, and focus. Weighted Lap Pads are easy to transport from one environment to another, such as in the car, at the dinner table, watching a movie, doing homework, playing a game, or carrying in the backpack. Our Kozie Lap Pad utilizes deep pressure tactile and proprioceptive sensory input, which help to release neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine in the brain.  Dopamine plays a significant role in motivation and reward, and serotonin affects emotional processing and mood.  Influencing a state of calm, alertness, and sleep.  Think of them as “happy neurotransmitters.”

Fun and Function's Blue Weighted Vest for Children Medium - Helps Kids with Sensory Issues, Autism, ADHD, Mood, Sensory Over Responding, and Travel Issues - Removable Weights Included
Stylish, Comforting and Calming Vest From Fun and Function.
Need to improve focus during test taking, working at a desk or doing homework? This Fun and Function Blue Weighted Vest provides proprioceptive input, helping children to focus at school and stay calm in stressful, sensory overloaded situations. Giving a steady sensory input and calming benefits for a sensory diet, the compression and weight of the vest can act as a filter to help engage the mind toward more important matters. Furthermore, kids enjoy the stylish, low-profile design so they don’t stand out from their peers.

Going to the Dentist: A Toddler Prep Book (Toddler Prep Books)
A simple and effective approach to preparing your child to go to the dentist
Going to the dentist can be stressful for anyone – especially young children who don’t know what to expect. Help your little one learn what they’ll actually see, hear and experience with Going to the Dentist, a Toddler Prep Book featuring actual photos and simple, easy-to-understand language.

The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist 
Complete with a visit from the Tooth Fairy, this classic Berenstain Bears story is the perfect way to calm children’s nerves about going to the dentist!
Come for a visit in Bear Country with this classic First Time Book® from Stan and Jan Berenstain. Join Mama, Papa, Brother, and Sister for a trip to the dentist where they’ll get checked for cavities, have their teeth cleaned, and learn all about the tools a dentist uses to help keep teeth healthy. Includes over 50 bonus stickers!

Therapy Shoppe 3 lb. Minkee Scented Weighted Lap Pads New!  Our Scented Minkee Weighted Lap Pad is a travel-sized sensory lap pad that's scented with just the right amount of calming lavender. These smaller-sized (and more discreet) 8"x12" weighted lap pads are a lot thicker than others and feature a sensationally soft, removable furry minkee cover that is wonderfully tactile and washable, too.  Ideal for classrooms, the office, or travel; these one-of-a-kind sensory fidget tools offer the same powerful calming benefits as larger-sized ones.  They make a wonderful weighted fidget lap pad for extreme tactile seekers. 

Nee-Doh Schylling Shaggy Groovy Glob! Squishy, Squeezy, Stretchy Stress Balls Neon Colors Gift Set Party Bundle - 3 Pack
Schylling Nee-Doh Shaggy Groovy Glob! Squishy, Squeezy, Stretchy Stress Balls Neon Colors Gift Set Party Bundle - 3 Pack (Assorted Colors) is AWESOME! Gift Set Party Bundle Includes 3 Different Colors of Schylling's Nee Doh SHAGGY Groovy Globs! The Groovy Glob of gratifying goo, with a delightfully tactile almost furry feel, it’ll help you mellow out and find inner peace and tranquility. The NeeDoh stress ball will help you mellow out! Feeling Stressed? Then you knead Nee-Doh! Grab a glob and give a squeeze! The experience will blow your mind, soothe your soul, and have you feeling groovy in no time! Filled with a mysterious, completely non-toxic, jelly-like compound, it's strong, durable and won't break open; always returns to its original shape.

Tangle Palm Metallic 2-Pack Aqua Blue and Plum Purple - Big Tangle for Hands - Desk Toy for Adults Boys Girls
Genuine Tangle Toys: Our tangle fidget toys are made up of toxin free. Our Toys are real officially licensed tangles and are not fake lower quality tangles. Tangled toys are meant to be taken apart, put back together, and used over and over, so tangled fidget toy been made to the highest standards so you can get used after use out of them. Fidget with Tangle now!
Tangle Palms Metallics: This fidget bundle includes 2 palm metallic tangles. These tangles are bigger than the Tangle Jr Classic and deliver a new fidget experience where you can fidget with your hands and arms. Palm metallics use smooth textures with bright vibrant shiny pieces that are visually stunning.

Therapy Shoppe Snakey Shoulder - Lap Weights
Meet a fun new members of our adorable weighted family! Kids LOVE these extra soft 'n furry weighted snakes that are great self-regulation sensory tools for providing calming deep pressure input. These 34" super tactile and extra furry 2.5 lb weighted snakes come in your choice of 2 super cool color combos. Both have super tactiley solid color fur on their backs and super soft and fun snakeskin fabric, or very cool blue stripes fabric on their belly. Excellent for tactile and proprioceptive weighted input. Awesome!

Pout-Pout Fish: Goes to the Dentist (A Pout-Pout Fish Paperback Adventure)
The star of Deborah Diesen's New York Times bestselling Pout-Pout Fish series is back, off to the dentist in this affordable 8 x 8 paperback format--featuring illustrations by Dan Hanna.

In Pout-Pout Fish: Goes to the Dentist, he's getting nervous―will the dentist be able to help him smile? At a low price point and with two pages of stickers, this new format is fun and accessible for Mr. Fish's fans and newcomers alike.

Vekkia Dragon Lord Sonic Rechargeable Kids Electric Toothbrush, 3 Modes With Memory, Fun & Easy Cleaning
USB Fast Charging: the indicator light flashes when charging, full of constant light on.
Mode Guidance: when the tooth brush starts, click within 3 seconds switch mode, after 3 seconds turn off.
Memory Function: no need to re-circulate to choose favorite mode again next time use.
For best brushing results, replace the brush head 3 months (recommended by the dentist).
This power toothbrush has 3 modes (clean 7-12, soft 3-6, massage 12+) with memory function, one on/off mode button, it does not need to be held down. Comfortable handle size designed for small little hands, lightweight only 2.45oz, easy grip. 

Nuk Brush
Wonderful tools for oral motor stimulation and desensitization. 
Offers valuable sensory input
Provides calming benefits for a sensory diet.
Item not refundable
Latex free

Great oral motor tool for preparing little ones to get acquainted with the feel of a tooth brush. The NUK Brush is a wonderful tool for oral motor stimulation and desensitization. Use also before eating to stimulate chewing and biting. 

Just Going to the Dentist (Little Critter)
Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter is having a checkup at the dentist in this classic, funny, and heartwarming book. Whether he’s having an X-ray taken, getting a teeth cleaning, or finding a cavity, both parents and children alike will relate to this beloved story. A perfect way to help allay any fears of going to the dentist!

Special Supplies Sensory Vibrating Neck Pillow for Kids and Adults Plush Velvet Soft Cover with Textured Therapy Stimulation, Mind and Body Calming Relaxation - Purple
Relaxing Sensory Therapy Pillow – This innovative calming neck pillow is designed to help sooth stress or anxiety, promote calm, and restore physical and emotional balance with a comforting squeeze and gentle vibration.
Innovative Vibrating Core – Inside the Special Supplies neck pillow is a battery-powered core that gently vibrates to add a fun, huggable feel that kids and adults will love. Perfect for those with ADD, ADHD, or autism.

Here are some more helpful Sensory Processing Disorder Resources

DISCLAIMER: I am not an Occupational Therapist. I am an adult who has Sensory Processing Disorder, a sensory parent and a Grandma. The information on this website is not medical advice and does not replace the information that your child's therapists gives you. These are just ideas and information that I have learned myself over the years of being a parent and an adult living with SPD. If you are concerned for your child, please always seek medical attention through a family doctor, pediatrician or therapist. This website is for suggestions and informational purposes only. Each child is different and what works for one child may not for another because all children have different needs. Please always consult with a professional.

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