A difficult task for any parent is trying to clean a child’s teeth and gums. Kids are more concerned with playing and doing whatever is necessary to avoid these morning and nighttime rituals far too often. If your child has special needs, these common oral hygiene routines can be even more of a challenge. Your child may be at a higher risk for many of the most common dental problems, whether it is physical, developmental, or behavioral. Today, we at Smile Reef would like to elaborate on special needs and oral hygiene.
Dentistry for Special Needs
You may undergo much more of a challenge when it comes to keeping their teeth and gums healthy as a parent of a child with special needs. A dental practice that offers special needs dentistry is so pivotal and important. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, children born with Down syndrome or other genetic disorders are often prone to delayed tooth eruption. They may appear abnormal or deformed when these teeth do erupt. One or more of their teeth may never erupt while in childhood is also possible. Because of the increased difficulty in trying to brush and floss them correctly, teeth that erupt abnormally and come in misaligned can often result in a higher risk for gum disease and tooth decay.
Why Do Kids with Disabilities Grind Their Teeth?
Teeth grinding is quite common and will require that you seek a children’s dentist who can provide the right method of treatment to avoid the continued breakdown of tooth enamel for kids with intellectual disabilities or cerebral palsy. Those who must take certain medications because of an impaired immune system or connective tissue disorder are much more likely to face these common issues while tooth decay and gum disease are prime dental problems for all children. This is because these medications often contain high amounts of sugar and/or cause the mouth to become dry. Allowing these damaging particles to adhere to their teeth and eat away at the tooth enamel and attack the gum tissue, there is not enough saliva production to flush out the sugar as a result.
Why is Special Care Dentistry Important?
Making sure you have a special needs dentist who is trained and equipped to treat these young patients can help lift what feels to be a heavy burden though it may seem as if you are fighting a losing battle. Allowing them to make this often-challenging process much easier for both you and your child, your child’s dentist can build a relationship with them early on, by bringing your child in for regular dental checkups and cleanings. How to approach and interact with your little one and their needs can make all the difference in the world is being able to provide a gentle touch and understanding.
To ensure your child remains safe and comfortable during their visit, you will likely find that a special needs dentist offers sedation methods. They can recommend the right form of sedation that will help them to feel more relaxed by informing your dental team about your child’s needs. You will be able to breathe a sigh of relief knowing your child’s teeth and gums are getting the treatment they deserve as a result.
It is important knowing how to care for your child’s smile at home. When it comes to improving your little one’s oral health, it is equally as valuable is finding an expert in your area who can offer assistance. Whether your child has special needs or not, Smile Reef is dedicated to ensuring your kids’ oral hygiene is in good standing, call us today to schedule your appointment.