If you have a child with special needs, then you have far more to worry about than his or her teeth. But adequate oral health is essential to a healthy body ,so your child deserves the very best dental care available.
Lower the Risk for Disease
Children with special needs may be at increased risk for gum disease or tooth decay because of medication, certain health conditions, or genetics. Treating every single dental problem isn’t always realistic, however. That’s why prevention is usually the best method.
Limit the amount of time your child’s teeth are exposed to acids and sugars which wear down enamel and promote cavities. Try to keep your child hydrated with water instead of juice, sports drinks, or soda. Save sweet drinks and other special treats for mealtime.
Are they a mouth breather? Consider using extra fluoride to keep decay at bay.
If your child resists brushing and flossing, encourage them to at least rinse with water after meals. This will help wash away some harmful acids.
Attempt Brushing and Flossing, if Possible
Clean your child’s teeth each day to the extent they can handle. Use a small amount of fluoride toothpaste to prevent decay and a very soft brush to avoid irritating the gums. Floss as much as your child will tolerate.
Find a Compassionate Dentist
Most general and pediatric dental practices are equipped to meet the needs of your entire family, including those with special needs.
The earlier you start bringing your child to the dentist, the sooner they’ll adjust to the idea and relax. Introducing dental care later in childhood could be a traumatic experience. Your child may need frequent preventative appointments to keep their smile healthy.
Ask a dentist near you for more suggestions on caring for the smile of your child with special needs.
Posted on behalf of:
Dr. David Kurtzman D.D.S.
611 Campbell Hill St. NW #101
Marietta, GA 30060
Every patient is special, which is why every patient deserves the very best dental care. Whether you’re young or old, have physical or developmental disabilities, a well-rounded dental team that is dedicated to providing attentive, personalized care will tailor their treatment routines to meet the needs of their patients.
Flexibility for special needs patients is important. Treatment times may require alternative resources or additional time. Not all dental care providers are equipped to offer these services. Selecting a dentist that provides special needs services is important when your loved one requires an extra special touch when it comes to ensuring their well being.
Patient, friendly dental staff who work with a high volume of special needs patients are the best way to ensure that your loved one will receive the best care possible. Whether it’s breaking up treatments into multiple, short visits, or utilizing sedation services in order to complete all of the necessary care in a single appointment, your special needs dentist understands that you know what’s best for your loved one. Treatment needs are prioritized based on severity, patient needs and the input of the caregiver. As a team, you and the dentist will formulate a care plan that exceeds the needs of the patient. Each patient is involved as much as possible in his or her own care plan.
Routine preventive care is the best way to prevent severe dental decay or infection later on down the road. Scheduling appointments first thing in the morning when the patient is well rested can make the visit easier. By seeing your dentist on a regular basis, dental needs of your special patient can be kept to a minimum.
Most people associate general anesthesia with a surgical procedure, but for some dental patients, dental care under general anesthesia is the only safe, comfortable way to get the dental care they need. While many dentists offer milder forms of sedation such as nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and mild oral sedatives, only a few highly trained dental specialists offer dental care under general anesthesia (also called hospital sleep sedation dentistry).
These specially trained dentists provide a complete range of dental care – everything from dental cleanings and check-ups to fillings, root canals, caps, veneers, bridges, and other dental procedures. While dental care under general anesthesia may seem a little “over the top”, the reality is that hospital sleep dentistry provides much needed dental care for patients cannot get the care they need in any other way.
For example, many patients with a developmental disability cannot tolerate dental care in a traditional setting, even with the strongest conscious sedatives. These patients often forgo dental care which seriously compromises their oral health as well as their overall health. Hospital sleep dentistry provides a means for these patients to receive safe, comfortable dental care that helps maintain their oral health and improves their quality of life.
Other patients suffer from uncontrollable dental phobia that is so severe that hospital sleep dentistry is the only way they can receive dental care. Other candidates for hospital sleep dentistry include patients who are allergic to novocaine or who cannot get numb with novocaine or other analgesics. Some patients have medical conditions that make it uncomfortable or even impossible to tolerate dental care in a traditional dental setting.
For all of these patients and more, hospital sleep dentistry offers a solution – safe, anxiety free, comfortable dental care in a hospital operating room under full anesthesia.
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