Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are at risk for oral health disparities.
With the dramatic rise in ASD prevalence to 1 in 54 children, it is likely that an increasing number
of dental practitioners will encounter or be asked to treat children with ASD. This paper reviews
explanations related to the increasing prevalence of ASD, provides reasons why children with ASD
are at increased risk for poor oral health, and discusses unique interprofessional collaborations
between dental practitioners and occupational therapists. Occupational therapists and dentists can
work together to plan modifications to the dental environment or adapt dental protocols to reduce
some of the barriers encountered by those with ASD, provide desensitization strategies before the
clinic visit, or help a child with emotional regulation during clinical treatments.