Getting your special needs child to the dentist for routine care or a dental emergency may require more effort and planning, especially if your child also has dental anxiety. At Oasis Pediatric Dental Care & Orthodontics, our dentists Dr. Nathalie Phaeton, Dr. Ki Youn Kil, and our pediatric dentistry team offer safe and compassionate dental care for your special needs child at our office in Falls Church, Virginia.
Getting dental care for your special needs child
Getting adequate dental care is especially important for special needs children, who tend to be more at risk for oral health problems like gum disease, tooth decay, and even tooth loss. If you have a child with special needs, contact us to discuss their circumstances. Our dentists and pediatric dentistry staff are trained and equipped to provide dental services to special needs children and their families.
Why are children with special needs at higher risk for oral health problems?
There are several factors that put kids with special needs at a higher risk for cavities and gum disease. Depending on their condition, special needs children may be on medication with oral side effects, have restricted or specialized diets, and have cognitive and physical impairments that affect their ability to articulate symptoms and to brush and floss properly.
For parents, getting a special needs child to the dentist for a checkup and cleaning may take a backseat to other medical appointments and aspects of the child’s care.
Pediatric dentists are trained and equipped to deal with children with special needs, and given the heightened risk factors for oral health problems, getting regular dental care is especially important.
Oral hygiene and dental tips for children with special needs
Developing a relationship with your pediatric dentist is the first step in getting your child the dental care they need. Before your first visit, make a list of any medications your child is taking, and let us know if they have any dental anxiety or sensory issues (like fear of drills or sensitivity to light or sound). It can be helpful to bring toys, books, a favorite article of clothing, or games that will help to keep them calm and distracted during the appointment.
Make sure they’re brushing and flossing properly every day, helping them if they need extra support handling the toothbrush and string of floss. If your child has trouble gripping or holding a toothbrush, look for toothbrushes designed specifically for children with special needs.
Diet and hydration are also an important part of your child’s oral hygiene, so make sure they’re drinking enough water, and limit drinks and snacks with excessive sugar.
Every child needs and deserves quality dental care, so don’t hesitate to ask for help and support. Ask us about whether services like sealants, silver diamine fluoride, and sedation dentistry can help protect your special needs child’s teeth from cavities and make them more calm and comfortable during their treatment.
For more information, contact Oasis Pediatric Dental Care & Orthodontics today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Phaeton or Dr. Kil at our Falls Church, Virginia office.