How Does Special Needs Children Dental Care Differ?
Special needs children dental care requires parents to consider important factors that relate to their child’s health. The more educated parents are regarding these factors, the better care they can provide for their kids.
What are special needs children? They are children who have chronic emotional, behavioral or physical conditions that set them apart in terms of care. They often require considerable medical and dental care.
What Are Some Challenges Parents Often Encounter?
According to an article published by Colgate, Down syndrome and other genetic disorders can delay teething by as much as two years. When the teeth come in, sometimes they are malformed, teeth are missing or extra teeth have come in. This can lead to poor teeth alignment and make the children more at risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Children may also be more prone to grinding their teeth.
Connective tissue disorders and impaired immune systems can also lead to gum disease and tooth decay. In addition, many special needs children are on medications that can cause dry mouth or that contain sugar, which are not good for oral health. Some medications have side effects that cause gum tissue overgrowth.
As a Parent, What Can You Do?
You can begin your special needs child dental care while your child is still an infant. Some suggested care includes:
- Wiping your child’s gums with a wet gauze pad
- When teeth come in, begin brushing the child’s teeth twice a day with a soft toothbrush and floss once a day
- Take your child for the first dental visit before the age of one
- Ask your dentist when you can begin using fluoride toothpaste for your child
- Provide your child with good nutrition and limit foods containing sugar and starch
- Brush your child’s teeth after eating or have him or her drink water or rinse with water to neutralize acids
- If you provide a sweet treat, do it as part of a meal
Do You Have Questions About Special Needs Child Dental Care?
At Hutto Hippo Family Dental, our dentists and staff are very welcoming and friendly. We are skilled at helping parents with special needs children and can help you overcome any challenges you face.