Often dental care of a child with special needs is easily over-looked due to other medical issues. However, it is important to note that kids with special needs are twice more likely to have dental problems than other kids. So, it is very important to pay special attention to their dental health care. Following are some tips on how to keep up with the dental health of kids with special needs:
- Oral Health: Children with special needs e.g. those with down syndrome, cerebral palsy and other genetic conditions tend to have oral problems such as malformed teeth, extra teeth, congenitally missing teeth, flat teeth due to habitual grinding etc. Such problems make them prone to tooth decay and gum disease. So paying attention to dental care early on will help keep things from getting worse.
- Dental Concerns: Being regular with dental visits of children with special needs can be immensely helpful in managing certain dental concerns that they are prone to. Some of these are GERD (Gastro- Esophageal Reflux Disease), holding food in the mouth, bruxism, bad breath, dry mouth, delay of first teeth etc.
- Nutrition: To maintain good oral health of a child with special needs, care should be taken to serve them with nutritious meals that have less sugar and starch. This will help their teeth develop properly and even reduce the chances of tooth decay. Make sure that you keep an assortment of healthy snacks in the house.
- Home Care: A good home care routine goes a long way in ensuring healthy teeth and gums. Ideally it should start during infancy by wiping the gums with a wet soft cloth/ finger brush. After the teeth erupt, one should use a soft toothbrush for brushing and also encourage flossing daily.
- Looking For A Dentist: It is recommended to make the first dental visit before your child turns one. Parents of children with special needs should strictly adhere to this. General and pediatric dentists are good enough for kids with special needs provided the dental team members have some experience in dealing with such kids. If you are not sure, you can call your local dental society for suggestions.
- Accessibility: The dental clinic you intend to take your child to should offer some special services for children with special needs such as wheelchairs, dental chairs with movable armrests, provision for late arrivals or cancellation, an orientation session, etc.
Schedule an appointment with the dentists at Enamel Dentistry. For more information, visit 2717 S Lamar Blvd #1086 Austin, TX 78704 or call (512) 717-5315.