Highlands Ranch, CO, January 20, 2016 --(PR.com
)-- February is National Children's Dental Health Month. An award-winning children’s book, "Sensitive Sam Visits the Dentist" can help take the “bite” out of going to the dentist (for the child, his parents and, even, the dentist.)
Although dental caries (tooth decay) are largely preventable, they remain the most common chronic disease of children aged 6 to 11 years and adolescents aged 12 to 19 years.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Children with special needs have higher rates of poor oral hygiene, gingivitis, and periodontal disease than the general public. Parents identify preventive dental care as the most prevalent of these children’s unmet health care needs.
Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health
Many special needs children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) suffer with pain related to untreated oral health issues, so are more prone to dental disease.
One may ask—why?
They are frequently unable to tolerate the sensory overload before, during and after the dental visit. The sights, sounds, touches, tastes, and movement are heightened for those on the autism spectrum because studies by the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation/STAR Center show that “more than three-quarters of children with ASD have significant symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorders (SPD).”
Marla Roth-Fisch, a Highlands Ranch, Colorado resident, released Sensitive Sam Visits the Dentist late 2015, and has won first for 2015 Book of the Year, by Creative Child Magazine. Sensitive Sam Visits the Dentist is an engaging book that has an interactive story for parents to read with their children to prepare for dental visits. As important, it has tips from parents who have experienced the best and worst of dental visits along with practical advice from dentists and orthodontists specializing in children with special needs.
The book’s goal is to create a background for the child to have a good first experience at the dentist, which should make the visit better for the dentist and the child’s parents as well.
This book will help children on the spectrum better tolerate visits to the dentist,” said Temple Grandin, PhD, Time magazine’s choice of a “hero” in their 2010 list of the “100 Most Influential Individuals in the World.” Dr. Grandin was noted for her leadership role as author, visionary, and speaker in the fields of autism and animal science, in which she is an advocate of the humane treatments and understanding of both.
The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend children see a dentist before their first birthday. Even at this young age, the dentist can examine the child and provide valuable information on feeding habits, teething and proper oral hygiene. The earlier, the better. By communicating with children about healthy oral hygiene habits, the better chance they will enjoy a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
The good news: there are dentists that have the proper experience and necessary training to treat children with special needs; and dental education courses on the early signs of decay, dental options and desensitization techniques for special needs children are being offered in the classroom/online to dental students. The not-so-good news: insurance reimbursement rates are a challenge for dentists, which deter some dentists from treating special needs patients.
"Sensitive Sam Visits the Dentist" and "Sensitive Sam," a previous book that explains SPD so children can understand it, are available from the following booksellers: Future Horizons (futurehorizons.com), Amazon (Amazon.com), Target Online (target.com) and Sensory World (sensoryworld.com).