The following resources are intended to help caregivers and the dental team adapt their daily skills when providing routine oral health care for persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder is not always possible.

These sources of information have been produced by third parties and are intended to serve as general information only. It should not be used to replace the advice of a qualified health professional. CDA is not responsible for complete accuracy, maintaining editorial control or continued availability of information provided by third party websites.

Oral Health Care Resources for Caregivers

Organization: The Scott Center
Product type/format: Webpage
Information about: General information: Understanding Autism, Definition of Autism

Organization: Autism Speaks
Product type/format: Dental Toolkit, Downloadable PDF (pg. 3)
Information about: Information for families; Brushing your child’s teeth; Other helpful tips; Finding the right dental office; Preparing for the dental visit; Visual schedule (step-by-step) to help children; and Meeting the dentist.

Organization: Autism Speaks
Product type/format: Video
Information about: A visit to the dentist by a child with autism.

Organization: Special Care Dentistry Association
Product type/format: Educational Factsheet, Downloadable PDF
Information about: Information about how autism affects your child’s teeth, how to brush your child’s teeth, and how to help prevent cavities.

Organization: Special Care Dentistry Association
Product type/format: Educational Factsheet, Downloadable PDF
Information about: Preventing early childhood cavities, checking teeth for spots, introducing new textures, visiting the dentist, and oral sensitivities and tooth brushing.

Organization: Colgate Magnus Cards
Product type/format: Phone app for people with Autism spectrum disorders
Information about: Game-style phone app to teach those living with Autism Spectrum Disorders how to accomplish daily tasks and build a routine, including brushing their teeth. Available through the App Store on your Apple device and Google Play.

Organization: National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
Product type/format: Downloadable PDF
Information about: This booklet is one in a series on providing oral care for people with mild or moderate developmental disabilities. The issues and care strategies listed are intended to provide general guidance on how to manage various oral health challenges common in people with autism.

Organization: National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
Product type/format: Downloadable PDF
Information about: Dental Care Every Day – A Caregiver’s Guide. Taking care of someone with a developmental disability requires patience and skill. As a caregiver, you know this as well as anyone does. You also know how challenging it is to help that person with dental care. It takes planning, time, and the ability to manage physical, mental, and behavioral problems. This booklet will show you how to help someone brush, floss, and have a healthy mouth.

Organization: Surrey Place Centre
Product type/format: Worksheet, downloadable PDF
Information about: About My Health is a worksheet for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities to fill out and share with healthcare providers to make the health care visit a success. The sheet asks about likes and dislikes, communication strategies and other helpful pointers. Persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their caregivers can update this information at any time when there is a significant change, or when meeting a new healthcare provider, such as going to the Emergency Department or seeing a specialist.

Organization: Southwest Autism Research and Resource Centre (SARRC)
Product type/format: Downloadable PDF Guide and YouTube Video
Information about: The guide and video were designed for parents and caregivers to better support the provision of oral health care at home.

The PDF guide includes information on why oral health care is important, tips for preparing for a dental visit, information on providing oral health care at home, how to keep gums and teeth healthy, concerns or questions parents may have around dental products, an Autism Spectrum Disorder fact sheet, and more.

The YouTube Video provides information on issues related to care, tools for treatment in care at home and in the dental office, tips for oral health care at home, and more.

Organization: British Society of Pediatric Dentistry (BSPD)
Product type/format: Downloadable Word document  
Information about: This sample questionnaire is designed for your child’s first visit to the dentist. It suggests speaking to the practice or clinic to plan your child’s first visit and to see what other information might be required for the visit.

Organization: British Society of Pediatric Dentistry (BSPD)
Product type/format: Downloadable PDF  
Information about: This document provides advice for parents of children with autism, including information about getting your child off to the best start, toothbrushing at home, the parent’s role in tooth brushing at home, diet and dental health, choosing your child’s dental team, your child’s first check-up, how to know that your child has a toothache, what happens if your child needs dental treatment, and more!

Organization: Dentably
Product type/format: Downloadable PDF
Information about: A two-page document, Dental Care Guidance for Caregivers of Patients with Autism, include topics such as common dental problems in patients with autism, finding the right dentist, dental sedation, preparing for an appointment, tips for oral hygiene at home, and more!

Organization: Dentably
Product type/format: Downloadable PDF
Information about: This is a list of six Questions to Ask Your Dentist Before an Appointment. You can print this sheet A free 1.5-hour course that will introduce you to characteristics of autism and take with you when you meet with prospective dentists.

Organization: Seattle Children’s Hospital
Product type/format: YouTube Video
Information about: Parents/caregivers can watch this 2-minute video for oral health related tips on how to help children who are on the autism spectrum. Tips for parents include incorporating oral health as part of a child’s daily routine, using a visual schedule, and experimenting with different types of toothpastes.

Organization: Autism Certification Center, USA
Product type/format: Online course
Information about: Many Faces of Autism. A free 1.5-hour course that will introduce you to characteristics of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and dispel common misconceptions through the experiences and perspectives of individuals on the autism spectrum. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, neighbor, co-worker, teacher, bus driver, or librarian, this course will provide you with valuable insights and information.

Organization: Kiwa Digital Limited
Product type/format: App (charges may apply)
Information about: Off We Go! Going to the Dentist is an interactive digital KIWA BOOK™ to help prepare your child for going to the dentist in a fun and practical way. The simple clear pictures and everyday language explain to them what is likely to happen, helping them to get through the dentist visit more easily.

Oral Health Care Resources for Dentists and the Dental Team

Organization: Autism Speaks
Product type/format: Dental Guide Toolkit, Downloadable PDF
Information about: What is autism; Advice for dental experts; and Preparingyour office space

Organization: Autism Speaks
Product type/format: Video
Information about: A visit to the dentist by a child with autism.

Organization: Mount Sinai Hospital
Product type/format: Brochure, Downloadable PDF
Information about: Guidelines on Oral Hygiene: Steps for Oral Hygiene and Reminders for Dentists and Support Workers/Families

Organization: Mount Sinai Hospital & Oral Health, Total Health
Product type/format: YouTube video
Information about: Anatomical considerations

Organization: Oral Health, Total Health
Product type/format: Checklist,Downloadable PDF
Information about: Ten observations which may indicate that an individual is in pain, and that the cause may be orally related.

Organization: Autism Speaks
Product type/format: Toolkit for Dental Professionals, Downloadable PDF
Information about: More on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and specific information that may help dental professionals better serve the needs of children with ASD. Topics include: Autism defined and characteristics; Behavioural concerns; Preparing for the patient/family visit (front-desk, hygienist role, dentist role); Rewards; FAQs and other resources.

Organization: National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
Product type/format: Downloadable PDF
Information about: This booklet is one in a series on providing oral care for people with mild or moderate developmental disabilities. The issues and care strategies listed are intended to provide general guidance on how to manage various oral health challenges common in people with autism.

Organization: Health Care Access Research and Developmental Disabilities (H-CARDD)
Product type/format: Downloadable PDF
Information about: Communication Tips for patients with Developmental Disabilities (DD). This one-page document provides some considerations and strategies for staff to improve communication with patients with DD.

Organization: Health Care Access Research and Developmental Disabilities (H-CARDD)
Product type/format: Downloadable PDF
Information about: Environmental Adaptations. This document provides some considerations and strategies on how small adaptations to the setting and environment can have a major impact on someone with developmental disabilities.

Organization: Surrey Place Centre
Product type/format: Downloadable PDF
Information about: Health Watch Table for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Health Watch Tables provide health information for specific syndromes with an established etiology and with identified health concerns. These syndrome specific tables were developed to complement the 2011 version of the Canadian consensus guidelines on the primary care of adults with developmental disabilities and the Preventive Care Checklist for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The Health Watch Tables highlight particular health problems that occur more frequently among adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities compared with the general population. The recommendations are not meant to impose a rigid formula as to what must be done and when, irrespective of the primary care provider’s judgement as to what is judicious in given circumstances.

Organization: Surrey Place Centre
Product type/format: Downloadable PDF
Information about: Communicate CARE: Guidance for Person-Centred Care of Adults With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. This tip-sheet offers guidance to family physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals for a person-centred health assessment of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It also provides information on best practices to prepare for appointments and communicate and plan interventions using a person-centred approach to shared decision making.

Organization: Surrey Place Centre
Product type/format: Downloadable PDF
Information about: Decision Making in Health Care of Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

This tool provides practical steps to help healthcare providers meet their obligation to respect the decision-making rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This information is not intended as legal advice. Always consider provincial laws and regulations when using this tool.

Organization: Surrey Place Centre
Product type/format: Downloadable PDF
Information about: Adaptive Functioning and Communication in Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Adaptive Functioning and Communication Tool. This fact sheet explains the different levels of intellectual functioning within intellectual and developmental disability (IDD). Awareness of the intellectual abilities and corresponding adaptive functioning of persons with IDD helps healthcare providers to understand and accommodate for their patient’s conceptual, social, practical and communication skills, optimizing the clinical encounter. This tool may be helpful when reviewing psychological reports or specialized assessments and care planning for present and future care needs.

Organization: Surrey Place Centre
Product type/format: Downloadable PDF
Information about: Office Organizational Tips for Patients with Developmental Disabilities. This tip sheet provides suggestions for primary care providers regarding their office routines for adult patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This sheet offers tips on pre-appointment preparations, initial office appointments, follow-up visits, when exams or investigations are needed, for referrals, and it includes other helpful information such as scheduling extra time and strategies for accommodating possible sensitivities.

Organization: Surrey Place Centre
Product type/format: Downloadable PDF
Information about: A Guide to Understanding Behavioural Problems and Emotional Concerns in Adults with Developmental Disabilities for Primary Care Providers and Caregivers. This guide is intended for use by primary care providers and where available, an interdisciplinary team (Part A) with input from patient’s caregivers or support persons (Part B). It aims to identify the causes of behavioural problems in order to plan for treatment and management, and to prevent reoccurrence.

Organization: Surrey Place Centre
Product type/format: Downloadable PDF
Information about: Antecedent-Behaviour-Consequence (ABC). This ABC chart helps to identify factors that can trigger or reinforce acute behavioural incidents. This information provides a basis for developing a plan to help the patient with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Use this observational tool to record information on behaviours that challenge. The aim of using this chart is to better understand what the person’s behaviour is communicating. Be as objective as possible when describing behaviour. Describe what you see and hear. Check for occasions or triggers where the behavior is most likely to occur. Look at what consequences might be maintaining the behavior. Based on the observation, develop a plan.

Organization: Southwest Autism Research and Resource Centre (SARRC)
Product type/format: A downloadable PDF Guide for Dental Professionals, a downloadable PDF Guide for Autism Providers, and YouTube Video
Information about: The guides and video were designed to better support the provision of oral health care in the dental office. The resource guides and dental training were developed with input from a commissioned dental committee made up of parents, SARRC clinicians, and representatives from the professional dental community. The PDF Dental Guide for Dental Professionals includes information on oral health and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), relevant dental issues, preparation for treatment, a welcome packet, tips for treatment, what could be expected, tips on how to address parent concerns, a patient information questionnaire, an ASD fact sheet, tips for how to keep gums and teeth healthy, and more! The PDF Dental Guide for Autism Providers provides information on includes information on why oral health care is important, helpful information to share with families about oral health care, the dental office appointment, how to keep gums and teeth healthy, a parent information questionnaire, concerns or questions parents may have around dental products, an Autism Spectrum Disorder fact sheet, and more! The Dental Training for Autism Providers and Dental Professionals YouTube Video covers information on barriers to care, diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), social communication, characteristics, referrals, an evidence-based treatment approach, what’s in it for you as a provider, collaboration and a team approach, a practical approach to treatment in the dental office, skills, questions to ask parents/caregivers, behaviour approaches, parental presence, communication tips, how to take a behavioural history, how to get started (when parents call for an appointment), a welcome packet, medications, diagnostic criteria for disorders, and more!

Organization: Special Care Advocates in Dentistry (SAID)
Product type/format: A series of 15 downloadable PDF learning modules
Information about: SAID is a benevolent group of dental professionals whose mission is to improve the oral health of people with disabilities through service, education, and advocacy. Select learning modules topics include, but are not limited to Intellectual Disability, Clinical concerns in the provision of dental care for patients with intellectual disability, Clinical Concerns in Dental Care for Persons with Mental Illness, Preventive Dentistry for Persons with Severe Disabilities, and Administrative Issues in the Practice of Dentistry in the MR/MH Institutional Setting.

Organization: University of Florida – College of Dentistry
Product type/format: Online Course – self navigation
Information about: Oral Health Care for Persons with Disabilities: An online continuing education course presented by the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Florida College of Dentistry.

Organization: University of Washington
Product type/format: Downloadable PDF
Information about: The fact sheet, Oral Fact Sheet for Dental Professionals – Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder, includes information on prevalence, manifestations, medication management, guidance on behavioural issues before dental care, during dental care, and for follow-up care, and more!

Organization: National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
Product type/format: Three downloadable PDF documents
Information about: Practical Oral Care for People with Autism and Practical Oral Care for People with Developmental Disabilities provide information on a range of topics such as, but are not limited to health challenges and in autism and strategies for care, communication problems and mental capabilities, behaviour problems, unusual responses to stimuli, unusual and unpredictable body movements, seizures, damaging oral health habits, dental caries, gum disease, tooth eruption, trauma and injury, and more. Oral Conditions in Children with Special Needs: A Guide for Health Care Providers offers information on topics such as, but are not limited to oral development (tooth eruption, tooth abnormalities, developmental defects); oral trauma; bruxism; oral infections (dental caries, viral infections and gingival overgrowth), as well as tips for health care providers.

Organization: Seattle Children’s Hospital
Product type/format: YouTube Video
Information about: This 2-minute video provides oral health related tips on how to help children who are on the autism spectrum. Tips for parents include incorporating oral health as part of a child’s daily routine, using a visual schedule, and experimenting with different types of toothpastes. Tips for oral health providers include consider having a “quiet room” available and to limit lights and sounds to make it a easier for a child to receive oral health care.