Dental Care for Children with Special Needs

Dental Care for Children with Special Needs

Dental Care for Children with Special Needs

Dentistry is that branch of medical field that promotes the dental care of children as well as serve as a guiding medium to the parents regarding the dental issues of their kids. Children with special needs need extra support, care and prevention in dental and oral health. Since many kids with needs can have pressing medical concerns, often dental health takes a back seat.

Why children with special needs require extra help

Children with special needs have a range of difficulties. Many conditions impact the way teeth and oral structures grow. Some other conditions can result in the inability to produce saliva which is important to clear food and protect teeth. Others include inability to chew solid food that stimulates teeth, gums and muscles of the mouth. Some children also hold food in their mouths for long.

For children with special needs, most of whom cannot even speak or communicate properly, it becomes imperative to understand dental science & take maximum preventive steps as much as possible. Since the innocent children cannot tell us their problems properly, it becomes of utmost importance that we take them to good dentists on a regular basis to check for the formation of any cavities or other pathologies.

Cavities if left untreated will result in nerve exposures requiring one to do a root canal treatment in order to save the permanent tooth besides also resulting in pus formation, huge swellings on the face & destruction of the adjoining gums & teeth.

root canal treatment

Some tips
  • It is suggested to use the baby toothbrush and specific toothpaste for your child.
  • Change the toothbrush in two to three months to avoid the tooth decay.
  • It is recommended not to use the toothpaste until the child is able to swallow it.
  • Healthy snacking habits should be developed among children from the very beginning.
  • Regular care appointments should be scheduled with the pedodontist.
What about Complicated Procedures

Since kids with special needs cannot bear local anesthesia most of the times, they may have to undergo a general anesthesia to complete this procedure, which will definitely have its own effects medically.

Prevention is Better than cure

We need to have the mindset of prevention or else things get complicated if there is negligence. In fact these children need all the more that extra care & attention to have a good quality of life which they deserve equally like us.

In addition, parents are served with various programmes that assist them in preventive home care (brushing/flossing/fluorides), advice in preventing mouth injuries and teeth of children, diet guidance and information on growth and development.

preventing mouth injuries

Did you know sippy cups can cause speech difficulties? Click here to read more.

Here is a video to show home dental care.

Role of a Pediatric Dentist ( Pedodontist)

A practicing dentist is often assisted with a team to ensure that their kid patient is handled safely and carefully. It is their responsibility to complete each and every procedure carefully in order to avoid potential risks like infection, nerve damage, prolonged bleeding, hematomas, and pain.

Some basic responsibilities of a dentist are:
  • Diagnoses of oral diseases.
  • Promotion of oral health.
  • Planning treatments to maintain and restore the oral health of their patient.
  • Interpretation of X-rays and diagnostic tests.
  • Ensuring the safe implementation of anesthetics.
  • Monitoring the growing stages of teeth and jaws.
  • Performing surgical procedures carefully on the teeth, bone and soft tissues of the oral cavity.
  • Repairing of decaying teeth.
  • Fixing dental injuries.

One of the major concerns of the pediatric dentist is to prevent tooth decay. They not only deal with the teeth but also look at the gums, throat muscles and nervous system of the head, neck, jaw, salivary glands and tongue.

Finding a good and qualified dentist is not really a deal but when it comes to a child a parent always wishes to satisfy with the best one. In India also there are numerous dentists dealing with pedodontics.

dentists treating DownSyndrome

Advances in Pediatric Dentistry

Today pediatric dentistry is prevention based. Many changes have developed since the years when dental care was not given primary importance. New means of awareness have been given by a pediatric dentist in India all around the world regarding the hygiene of kid’s mouth.

This article has been written by Dr. O.P Thind who is a seasoned Dentist in Noida, India.  You can reach out to him by visiting his website here.

Dr. O.P Thind

Leave us a reply to let us know if you have a query. Subscribe to our weekly tips here.

Parenting a child with a special needs, whether it’s a physical disability, a learning disability, an emotional challenge, or a developmental disorder, can necessitate the acquisition of specific skills, such as care giving or advocacy, as well as time and energy commitment that can jeopardize careers, marriages, and relationships with other children.

Pratiksha Gupta
follow me
Share this

Leave a Comment

(1 Comment)

  • DentalSave

    Hi, thank you for sharing this blog post! There are a lot of important information from this article and I love it.
    In my opinion, Help your youngster brush and floss, and remind that child to focus on the back teeth.

  • Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *