Special Needs Dentistry

All children are welcome to Ocean Pediatric Dental and deserve quality dental care. Many children find going to the dentist difficult or traumatic. Opposition to basic dental hygiene, limited or poor diet, physical disability, sensory issues, and resistance to professional dental care can be obstacles to oral health.

Children with physical and developmental disabilities, including conditions that affect behavior and cognition, often have limitations in their abilities to perform activities of daily living, including dental hygiene. They may have special health care needs as well. Examples include children with various syndromes, autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, craniofacial anomalies, and other health conditions.

We are here to HELP. We treat all children. Ocean Pediatric Dental provides a fun, child-friendly environment. Additionally, all of our dentists have two years of additional training to specialize in children, including those with special needs. Our dentists and staff continue this education by taking courses every year that include special care dentistry.

Dr. Elisa Velazquez is also a staff dentist for Children’s Specialized Hospital in Toms River, NJ. She also served as the staff dentist for The Arc of Ocean County for six years (an organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities).


Ocean Pediatric Dental works with hundreds of children with ASD. Children with AUTISM sometimes have difficulties at the dentist. Many children on the spectrum have severe oral aversions and hypersensitivity. Another symptom of ASD is social skills deficits. Lack of social skills can add to problem behavior for many children in a dental setting. To help prepare your child for a dental visit, here’s a few helpful hints:

  • Start visits at an early age and maintain 6 month check- ups.
  • Act out dental exams with a toy or other family members (ex. say ahh- look at the teeth!)
  • Keep your own fears of the dentist hidden
  • Maintain oral health at home with brushing as part of the daily routine
  • Review our picture book Social Story™ with your child & act out dental exams
  • Participate in our MONTHLY FREE PROGRAM–DOPAC- (Dental Orientation Program for Autistic Children). Once a month we have children with ASD come to our office to acclimate them to a dental setting and teach them basic dental hygiene skills. By establishing routines, many anxieties are reduced and children have significant improvements in behavior. CALL TO SCHEDULE FOR THIS FREE PROGRAM. APPOINTMENTS REQUIRED.