Special Needs Dental Care
If you are the parent of a special needs child, you know that balancing their requirements can be challenging at times. Sometimes, other things, such as oral care, take a back seat while you attend to more important things. However, the truth is, proper oral care for your special needs child is just as important as the oral care for any other child. In fact, children with special needs tend to have more dental issues than those without. At Puyallup Pediatric Dentistry, we can help to keep your child’s mouth healthy and work to prevent otherwise serious oral health problems.
Common Oral Health Problems
Some children with special needs are at greater risk for developing oral health issues. For instance, children with Down’s syndrome or other genetic disorders are likely to face late tooth eruption. Their teeth may be malformed. They may have extra teeth erupt, or they may be missing certain teeth. This can leave them with overcrowding or other alignment issues, which can then make them prone to tooth decay, gum disease, and other problems. Certain disabilities may cause your child to grind their teeth, which can wear down their enamel. Other factors that can make your special needs child prone to oral health issues include:
|Their medications. Some medications may cause dry mouth, while others contain extra sugars. Both of these factors turn their mouth into an ideal environment for oral bacteria to thrive.
|Their diet. Some children are prescribed a special diet that is high in starches (and other carbohydrates). These can stick to their teeth and make them more prone to dental issues.
|Physical limitations. If your child has physical limitations, this can interfere with their ability to properly brush their teeth.
Providing Care for Your Child
At Puyallup Pediatric Dentistry, we can help to provide your special needs child with the oral care they need. As pediatric dentists, we receive 2 to 3 additional years of specialized training after completing four years of dental school. This training includes how to work with children with special needs. We will take the time to speak gently with your child, and will work with them, and you, so that they understand what we are doing.
We also understand that some special needs children will be more nervous, or they may be unable to stay still. To ensure their comfort, and that they get the care that they need, we may recommend general anesthesia, which can be performed right here in our office and is monitored by a highly trained anesthesiologist.
At-Home Oral Care
Taking care of your child’s mouth at home is an important part of daily care. We will work with you so that you can help your child to develop these habits. Depending upon the needs of your child, we can provide you with strategies that will help. We can also provide you with nutrition tips to keep your child’s mouth healthy. Moreover, it is important not to skip regular dental visits. Just like any other child, your child should be seen at least twice a year.
At Puyallup Pediatric Dentistry, we will work with your child, and with you, to ensure the health of their mouth. If you have any questions or concerns or want to schedule your child’s appointment, give us a call today at (253) 864-9889!