Every child is precious. When handling dental care for children, dental experts place incredible regard on the varying needs kids have. Tt is why pediatric dentists in 96001 offer specialized dental care to children from infancy to adolescence. However, much more care must be accorded to children with special health needs. Consider taking your child to a facility like Special Health Care in Redding, CA, for individualized treatment protocols for kids with special health needs.
Understanding Special Needs in Dentistry
It is also called special care dentistry. It is a specialty in dentistry that caters to the unique needs of patients with disabilities. The disabilities can be intellectual, physical, developmental, medical, or psychiatric. The underlying health problems dictate certain limitations for these patients, requiring special dental care. The stakes are higher for children living with various disabilities.
Oral Conditions Typical for Children with Special Needs
Many parents of special needs children have concerns regarding their kids’ oral health. Different disabilities introduce limitations to the body. The limitations may inhibit proper oral care unless through continuous intervention by a pediatric dentist near you. Some of the dental problems common for children with special needs are:
- Poor oral hygiene – by themselves, children with disabilities may not be capable of keeping their teeth clean. If they do, they may not be as thorough as is necessary to sustain excellent dental hygiene. Therefore, they are susceptible to plaque and tartar build-up. They need regular dental cleanings to keep up with their dental hygiene.
- Gum disease – poor oral hygiene is the leading cause of gum infections, common among children living with disabilities. Many special needs children have recurrent mouth sores than can make eating problematic.
- Persistent bad breath – trying to keep the jaw open can be difficult if your child has a disability. Keeping the mouth closed for long periods along with poor oral hygiene is a recipe for bad breath.
- Dental cavities – Since daily dental hygiene is problematic, children with special needs have a significantly high risk of developing tooth cavities. Besides, some special needs children have limited diets that pre-expose them to high sugar levels that contribute to cavity development.
- A cleft lip or palate – is a birth defect affecting the roof of the mouth and the lip. Many kids have a cleft lip or palate, often requiring multiple oral surgeries to repair and restore their oral cavities.
- Delays in tooth eruption – your child can stay for up to two years without developing teeth, especially when they suffer from conditions like Down syndrome and other genetic disorders.
- Orthodontic problem – special needs kids can suffer various orthodontic problems, including congenitally missing teeth, overcrowding, crooked teeth, development of extra teeth, and general jaw misalignment causing improper bites. Such dental issues can result in new ones like jaw pain and gum recession.
- Bruxism – children with some intellectual disabilities like cerebral palsy can suffer bruxism due to habitual teeth grinding. The consequences are deformed teeth, heightened teeth sensitivity, and fractured teeth, to mention a few.
How Can Dental Care Help Your Child?
Never shy away from visiting our dental offices at Shasta Kids Dentistry to get started on a dental care plan for your special needs kid. Dental care with professionals will guide you on home care tips between dental visits. Some of the ways dental care can help your child are:
- Nutritional counseling – to get your child started on a healthy diet that favors the development of strong and healthy teeth.
- Independent dental care – sometimes you sell your child short by thinking they cannot do anything by themselves. With a little help from our dental team, your child can take up some dental care measures to be in charge of their dental health.
- Treating underlying dental issues – you should not have to wait until your child loses a tooth when you can seek treatment from a pediatric dentist near you.
- Preventive dental care – proactive measures can prevent cavity development and significantly reduce the risk of infection for your child.
- Choosing dental products – sometimes, the only thing you need is better insight into the most suitable products for your child’s dental needs. It may include a different type of toothpaste, a soft toothbrush, a gauze pad, or an antiseptic rinse, to mention a few.