How To Make Dental Care Easier For Kids With JIA

Children experiencing juvenile idiopathic arthritis tend to be in a lot of pain and can experience stiff, immobile joints throughout their body. If your child's neck, jaw, shoulders, or spine are affected by this disease, it can make visiting the dentist an uncomfortable or frightening experience. Thankfully, it doesn't have to be that way. Try these steps to make your child's next visit to the kid dentist easier.

Plan Ahead

Before your child visits the dentist, you should make sure that they're up to date on all of their JIA medications. Anything your doctor has prescribed should be given, as well as over the counter painkillers that your child's doctor has given the okay to. These medications can help to prevent stiffness, which can ease your child's discomfort during an examination.

Furthermore, don't be afraid to try additional therapies to help ease your child's discomfort. Simple stretching can be performed in the waiting room to loosen up the body and help improve your child's comfort. A massage may also be useful in loosening tight muscles that could put more strain on joints affected by juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

Talk to the Dentist

Before your child ever visits the dentist, consider giving the dentist a call. Explain the situation and your concerns regarding your child's comfort level. This will give the dentist an opportunity to understand what they're going to be working with. This is important, since without this knowledge, the dentist won't know that your child may have special needs.

By letting your dentist know, they'll be able to help by letting your child take frequent breaks to prevent stiffness and pain. They will also use small tools and understand that if your child cannot open their mouth as far as other children, they're not being obstinate; it's part of their condition.

Schedule a Consult

Lastly, consider setting up a consultation with the dentist and bring your child with you. This will not only give the dentist an opportunity to examine your child's flexibility but it will put your child at ease, too.

Children with JIA can experience stiffer joints if they're anxious and tense. Meeting a dentist for the first time can be nerve-wracking for children, since many kids are frightened of strangers anyway, and a dentist will be poking around in their mouth. By giving your child an opportunity to meet the dentist without any medical procedures being performed, you can put them more at ease during their actual appointment.

Dental procedures can be performed on your child with minimal to no discomfort or pain. If you're worried about your child's JIA getting in the way of a dentist's appointment, contact your dentist to set up a consultation.