Finding a specialized dentist is a must if your child has special needs. With well-trained professionals who take a kid-friendly approach to dentistry, your child will feel more at ease. Unfortunately, kids with special needs face many challenges with their development and oral care is commonly among them. With this in mind, we at Smile Reef would like to discuss dentistry with kids who have special needs today.
What Exactly is a Special Needs Child?
Special needs children are those with chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional conditions according to the Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. These kids may require more extensive dental and medical services and are generally have limitations in performing daily activities. In addition to learning and developmental disabilities, some of the conditions we see in our office include cleft lip or palate, neurological disorders, cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, hemophilia or other bleeding disorders, heart conditions, autism, vision, and hearing impairments.
Common Childhood Dental Problems in Special Needs Kids
More likely to develop dental problems are children with disabilities or special needs. Oral sensitivity can develop with sensory challenges. Dental gum disease and cavities can be the result of certain high-sugar medications, diet restrictions, and difficulty eating. Some special needs children can have challenges when it comes to communicating you of toothaches or other dental problems in addition to some children may also have trouble brushing, flossing, and rinsing. Due to problems with jaw development, other children have difficulty opening their mouths completely. As special needs dental care is standardized, such as the prevention and treatment of cavities, many of these concerns are addressed. There are several common dental concerns that children and teens with special needs are more at risk for, however, which include the list below.
1) Tooth Decay
2) Grinding the Teeth
3) Bite is Poorly Aligned
4) Gum Tissue Overgrowth
6) Oral Infections
7) Missing or Crooked Teeth
8) Gum Disease
9) Extra Tooth Eruption
10) Dry Mouth
11) Developmental Defects
12) Delays in Tooth Eruption
Why Pediatric Dental Care is Important
Trained in the care of patients with special needs are all pediatric dentists. Pediatric dentists have 2-3 years of specialized training in areas such as child psychology and development and addressing anxiety related to dental visits beyond dental school. We are devoted to helping growing children take care of their oral health from infancy to adolescence. All this includes more than just dental check-ups and cleanings. At Smile Reef, we do everything we can to make your child as comfortable as possible.
Our staff understands that a trip to the dentist can cause high anxiety in any child, but especially with kids that have special needs. We do everything we can to help your child feel more at ease and calm during the visit. From checking in to checking out, we help everyone feel calm. Contact Smile Reef today and let us take care of your children in Las Vegas, NV and surrounding areas.
The type of food and liquids they consume daily can have long-term effects in addition to brushing and flossing being an essential for our children’s overall oral health. To ensure your little ones will have healthy teeth and gums to last a lifetime, consuming a balanced diet of foods rich in vitamins and minerals will help. Today, we at Smile Reef would like to discuss the minerals and vitamins important for your kid’s teeth.
Vitamins & Minerals are Important to Child’s Teeth
Calcium. The main mineral that makes up our teeth and supporting jawbones is calcium. Our bodies take the calcium it needs from our bones when we don’t consume enough of this mineral, which can weaken them. The function of the brain, organs, and skeletal muscles is also maintained. Cheese, milk, and yogurt are the main sources of calcium. Broccoli, kale, most grains, fish with soft bones, fruit juices, and soy and rice beverages are other foods that provide calcium.
Vitamin A. Both your eyes and mouth benefit from Vitamin A. Like your mucous membranes and gums, this vitamin forms and maintains tissues. To help keep saliva flowing, which naturally cleans teeth of damaging acids and prevents dry mouth is another function of vitamin A. Found in sweet potatoes, orange fruits, kale, fish, dairy, chicken, meat, spinach, collard greens, and egg yolk is Vitamin A.
Vitamin C. For keeping the connective tissues of your gums strong, Vitamin C is essential. The tissues holding your teeth securely in place can weaken, gums can bleed, teeth can become loose, and the risk for gum disease increases without enough of it. Your children should be encouraged to eat spinach, berries, kiwifruit, citrus fruits, and sweet potatoes.
Vitamin D. The body absorb calcium and strengthens the teeth with Vitamin D. It also reduces the risk of bone fractures in addition to making our teeth and bones stronger. Our bodies can resist some types of disease since Vitamin D also helps keep the immune system functioning normally. It can also be found in fatty fish, canned tuna, and portobello mushrooms though bodies naturally make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Foods and drinks that have been fortified with vitamin D, such as orange juice, milk, and some cereals can also be used.
Iron. Important for maintaining healthy levels of red blood cells is iron. Iron helps defend against infection and disease and your body’s immune system to function normally. Your body’s immune system is weakened and your chance of developing oral infections and gum disease increase when iron levels are low. By giving them seafood, eggs, red meat, cereals, bread, and green leafy vegetables, keep your child’s immune system up and running to its full potential.
Phosphorus. Large amounts of phosphorus are contained in your body, and most of it is found in your teeth. To protect and rebuild your tooth enamel it works with calcium. Important for the maintenance and repair of your body tissues and teeth is replenishing phosphorous. Present in many protein-rich foods, like meats, eggs, legumes, nuts, and dairy is phosphorous.
Some children can be super picky eaters and might benefit from taking vitamin supplements, while a healthy diet can provide your child with enough vitamins and minerals they need. Talk to their pediatrician and ask them about the best recommended multi-vitamin supplement if your child has low levels of one or more than one vitamin or mineral. In addition to a healthy diet, be sure to include regular dental visits and daily oral health. For pediatric dentistry in the Las Vegas Valley, contact Smile Reef today and let us assist you!