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5 Tips in Oral Hygiene for Special Needs Kids

March 25, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — washpark @ 2:36 pm
family brushing together to help with dentistry for special needs kids

Raising a child can be tough in general, but raising a child with special needs can come with a host of other challenges. Whether your child has sensory issues, crippling anxiety, motor skill issues, or developmental delays, you want to help them learn to be independent and function in the world around them.

When it comes to keeping their smile healthy, you are going to need to put in some effort every day. However, with the help of your pediatric dentist, you can teach your child that caring for their teeth both at home and at the dentist’s office is crucial for their well-being. Here are some tips for making dentistry for special needs kids easier on everyone!

At Home

It can be challenging to stay on top of your child’s dental health day in and day out. However, with consistent effort, you can protect their smile and keep away painful tooth decay.

Brush Together

Every child wants to do the things they see their parents doing. If you show them healthy habits like brushing your teeth, chances are your special needs child will be more willing to do it along with you. At an early age, it’s okay if they simply chew on a toothbrush while you clean your own teeth. As they get used to the texture in their mouth, you can coach them on proper brushing technique all by themselves while they continue to watch you.

Make It Fun

No one said caring for your teeth has to feel like a chore. In fact, it’s better if you can get creative and turn it into a game. Try playing their favorite music while you brush or playing a game where you attack sugar bugs. Don’t be afraid to get creative so daily oral hygiene can feel less difficult.

Limit Sugar Intake

By now, you might have already discovered that excess sugar is not good for any child, much less one with special needs. Not only can sugar affect their mood and overall health, but too much sugar can create a more acidic environment in their mouth, leading to damaging and painful cavities. If you are conscientious in monitoring and controlling how much sugary foods and drinks your child has, it will be much easier to prevent cavities from harming their smile.

For the Dentist’s Office

While your at-home routine is critical for your child’s smile, it’s equally important for your child to visit a qualified pediatric dentist, who is trained in treating and working with children with special needs. Here are some ways to make regular visits as successful as possible.

Do a Practice Visit

Unfamiliar places and faces can be nerve-wracking for anyone, but especially children with special needs. Try doing a practice run at the office before the actual appointment so that the space and people aren’t quite brand-new or scary. If necessary, you can also talk to the staff about using sedation to put your child at ease during their visit.

Take Pictures of the Office

Another way to familiarize your child with the people and instruments at a pediatric dental office is to take pictures of them and show your child in advance. By letting them see these photos, you can help them feel more at ease. You can also read books about visiting the dentist to show them that these professionals are friendly and there to help.

In the end, to stay healthy and strong, your child needs to learn how to take care of their smile. By following these tips, you can lay the groundwork to a lifetime of good habits and positive dental experiences.

About the Practice

As a board-certified pediatric dentist, Dr. Patrick Bowman is uniquely qualified to work with young children and those with special needs. At Wash Park Pediatric Dentistry, he offers sedation options as well as assembles a team of caring professionals who are dedicated to providing good dental experiences to kids. If your child has special needs of any kind, just let our team know, and we will go above and beyond to make sure their visit goes as smoothly as possible. Call us at 720-419-3646 or reach out online today to set an appointment!

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