Special-Needs Children Require Special Oral Health Strategies
While oral health is important to sustain a child’s overall good physical health, children with special needs—and their parents—often find necessary oral-care maintenance routines challenging.
At home, consistent, creative preparation can be very useful to keep toothbrushing time as stress-free as possible. If your child resists brushing in the bathroom, for instance, choose another room or setting. Make sure all objects you might need—everything from toothbrush to fresh water to swabs—are close at hand before beginning.
If a traditional toothbrush poses difficulties, you can buy or make an adaptive toothbrush that your child may be able to maneuver alone. The sense of independence this fosters will create positivity around the oral-health experience—something important for any special-needs child. If your child finds toothpaste difficult to tolerate, try using a very small amount (the size of half a pea) on the toothbrush.
Specific precautions can help prevent cavities that might be caused by taking certain liquid medications that contain sugar. Have your child rinse with water, if possible, after taking these medications, and ask your pharmacist if there are sugar-free variants for your child’s prescriptions. If your child experiences gastroesophageal reflux or another condition that causes frequent vomiting, you, your child and caregivers should understand that to get rid of even small amounts of residue, rinsing the mouth with water after an incident is crucial to preventing tooth decay.
Dr. Jared and his clinical team want to work with you and your child to make his or her dental care experiences as pleasant as possible. When you schedule your child’s appointment at KiDDS Dental, remind us of his or her special needs. If necessary, we can devote the first appointment—or even the first several appointments—to small steps that get your child acclimated to the office, the chair and the activities of a “real” visit. Then he or she will know what to expect during actual cleanings and care, and the chance of successful dental visits for years to come will rise exponentially.
Give us a call at 509-891-7070 to schedule today!