Having special needs can place a person at an increased susceptibility to develop oral health conditions such as gum disease, tartar buildup, and tooth decay. That’s why it’s extremely important to have a great preventive care plan in place! Prevention in both the home as well as the dental office can ward off oral diseases, or catch them in the earliest stages.
At home, it’s essential to find a way to practice effective oral hygiene in a way that is easily accessible to the patient. Some patients require alteration of equipment, such as an enlarged handle on their toothbrush, or even a counter-mounted electric toothbrush. Rinsing with fluoride mouthwash or brushing with a prescription strength fluoride can prevent enamel demineralization from occurring due to plaque buildup.
Most people benefit from preventive visits at their dental office twice each year. If needed, these visits can also be performed as frequently as every 3 or 4 months to benefit the health of the patient. During these visits, a prophylactic cleaning will remove any calcified bacteria deposits, a fluoride treatment will be applied, and an examination will screen for any decay. Placing sealants over the permanent molars can also ward off potential tooth decay and make it easier to keep these teeth clean. One-on-one oral hygiene counseling with the hygienist or dentist is useful to help pinpoint specific areas of need, and alternative methods to accomplish home hygiene.
Special needs patients such as those with developmental disabilities who cannot tolerate traditional dental care can receive top quality dental care from a dentist who specializes in sedation dentistry. Sedation or sleep sedation dentistry offers a comfortable, humane dental care option for special needs patients.
Maintaining a healthy mouth will boost the immune system as well as reduce inflammation throughout the body. Your special needs loved one deserves a special approach to dentistry that is customized for their individual needs.
Posted on behalf of David Kurtzman
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