Dental Tips Blog

Feb
28

ADHD and the Dental Patient

Dental patients with ADHD or ADD may sometimes find that they need adjustments to their treatment or dental visits in order to make them more comfortable and provide better care. If your child takes medication for their attention deficit, it may help to schedule their dental appointment soon after the time when they normally take their prescription. This can allow the patient to have a better experience and benefit from the influence of their medication while it is still fresh in their system.

Some patients that take medications for ADD/ADHD may have oral side effects that you want to be aware of. One of these is dry mouth, or xerostomia. Many medications cause dry mouth, but it can be problematic in that dry mouth can predispose a person to tooth decay due to the lack of natural washing or lubrication from saliva. Have your child drink water frequently throughout the day and check their oral hygiene practices to ensure thorough plaque removal. Using a fluoride rinse such as ACT may also be beneficial as it can help remineralize weaker areas of the teeth. Some ADD/ADHD medications can also cause tongue discoloration, gingivitis, decreased taste or difficulty swallowing.

You may find that your child has habits such as nail biting, teeth grinding or trauma due to hyperactivity. Encourage preventive measures such as the use of bite guards for bruxism or sports guards to prevent from injuries during physical activities, or chewing Xylitol containing gum rather than on fingernails or other items.

Let your dentist know what concerns you have about your child’s oral health and if there is anything that you need help with improving. Your dentist and their team are trained and ready to offer personalized care to all patients and meet their special needs in a way that is effective.

Posted on the behalf of Dr. James Kincaid

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