The role of the occupational therapist here at Miracle Dental Associates has four goals:
1. To get the child as comfortable as possible with the setting and tools so when the child returns to meet the hygienist and dentist everything is familiar and recognizable.
2. To create a positive association to dental hygiene and exams
3. To gather as much information about the child (preferences, dislikes, sensory style) so that the staff know how to adapt themselves, the exam, and the environment to best fit the individual needs of your child.
4. Just simply PRACTICE being at the dentist.
All children have the option to receive either a generic or personalized social story of “what to expect” at the dental cleaning and exam. The pictures and wording of the story aim to facilitate a positive experience and calm the child by explaining the steps and expectations of a dental exam.
Sessions with the occupational therapist last typically 45 minutes to an hour and are held on Mondays when the office is otherwise closed to create a quiet, safe, and private environment for this initial experience.