As a parent of a special needs child, you have to juggle many different priorities for their overall well-being. Not the least of which is their dental health! Since kids with special needs often face unique challenges to their smile, it’s worth it to start with prevention as early as possible. Keep reading to learn how special needs pediatric dentistry prevents and manages various dental conditions to ensure your child has a healthy smile!
Which Conditions Are Special Needs Kids Susceptible To?
Here are some of the oral health issues your child may face:
- Tooth eruption – Your child’s teeth may be delayed in coming in, or they could come in sooner than usual.
- Cavities – Dry mouth, special feeding requirements, difficulty with brushing and flossing, and other issues can make your child extra vulnerable to tooth decay.
- Alignment issues – It’s not uncommon for special needs children to have more severe bite, alignment, and crowding issues. In some cases, early orthodontic intervention can make a big difference.
- Developmental anomalies – Your child could have fewer teeth or more teeth than expected, and some teeth may be abnormally shaped or have defects such as pits that make them more difficult to clean.
- Clenching and grinding – Conditions such as cerebral palsy can increase the likelihood of clenching and grinding, which can lead to chips, cracks, or broken teeth over time.
- Gum problems – This can range from red, bleeding, and inflamed gums to an overgrowth of gum tissue.
The Power of Prevention
It’s so much simpler to prevent dental problems than to treat them. And one of the most important tools for prevention is a good oral hygiene routine at home. Depending on your child’s needs, you can get many tips and tricks from your pediatric dentist to make it easier and more effective. The earlier you can introduce your child to routine dental care, both at home and in a dental office, the better.
This is also a great way to help your child feel comfortable in the dental chair from early on. In some cases, it will take several visits before a child feels completely comfortable, but the process is well worth it.
Dental visits can make any child feel a bit anxious, and even more so for special needs children. By visiting a board-certified pediatric dentist, you’ll know you’re seeing a professional with advanced training to provide special dental care.
By working with a pediatric dentist to establish prevention from the start, many of the most common oral health problems can be minimized or avoided altogether.
About the Author
Dr. Mira Albert is a board-certified pediatric dentist with over a decade of experience and a serious passion for her job. She and her team have the training to help every child have a great experience in the dental chair and enjoy a healthy smile for life. If you have any questions about how we can help your special needs child, she can be contacted through her website.