13 Jan, 2021

Every child is an angel. But when it comes to their dental care, it becomes difficult. Children with special needs cannot be trained in the same way as typical children. They have unique issues. May be due to their physical and intellectual constraints they face many issues.  Many conditions such as mental retardation, developmental disabilities, cerebral palsy, craniofacial abnormalities, and seizure disorders can impact a child's oral health. Parents are already burdened with medical expenses for the respective treatments hence they ignore the oral issues. But now these issues are addressable, and parents need to go for oral issue treatments.

Children with autism can have understanding issues. In a dentist clinic, parents of an autistic child were explaining how their child swallowed a huge amount of toothpaste. Daily swallowing of toothpaste can cause more issues. As they consulted the dentist, the doctor gave a few tips like using a small amount of toothpaste, brush child teeth with a small brush, show them how to spit the paste out of the mouth. Step by step implementation can result in the good oral health of the child.

Many times, when special children visit a dentist, fear rolls in eyes of such children. They are not cooperative and hence parents avoid going for dental care. But these days professional dentists are available who are trained to handle special kids. Once a child enters the clinic, the dentist engages them in activities that ease the children and then they take the next steps as per the child's convenience. Parents are unaware of such things hence here are few tips for dental care of special children:

Role Play: Children are always adaptable. Parents can show a different picture with brushing techniques which can leave an image on children's brains. Acting and having role play of lion, tiger roar or some superheroes can make children adjust to the environment of cleaning teeth and make things playful. Brushing along with them can enhance their oral skills. Image imitation is an easy process for learning in special children. Singing poems can help. 

Avoid sugar consumption: Children on medication are more susceptible to sugar issues. These medicines can cause dry mouth which reduces the amount of saliva causing more tooth decay. Make sure children eat food and drink beverages low in sugar. 

Toothpaste & toothbrush: Choose a toothpaste containing fluoride. Sweet and colorful toothpaste can attract children's attention and arouse their interest in cleaning teeth. A soft and fancy toothbrush or with songs playing can be extremely helpful to create a fun mode of brushing for special children.

Diet: Food that is soft or high in starch like potato or corn stick to children's teeth and give bacteria in the mouth more time to decay the teeth. Fruits with a higher content of vitamin C and fiber can be helpful. Water with fluoride, Eggs, milk, cheese, leafy vegetable, or soups is healthy food for healthy teeth and gums.

Dentist: Look for pediatric dentists who have special education and training on caring for special children. Talk with the child about the dentist and dental procedure beforehand. Chose the best center with a wheelchair facility, play area, trained faulty, experienced doctors. Well-inform doctor about your child's condition while taking appointments so that you don't waste your time and the child doesn't get cranky.

Medication: Heavy medicines do affect oral health hence side effects of medication can result in an overgrowth of the gingiva, dry mouth, increased incidence of oral infection, delayed healing, and bleeding gums. In such a case dentist can change medication according to the child's condition and can provide proper guidance on oral health.

Patients with seizure disorders or cerebral palsy suffer a lot of teeth issues. Their chewing movements are not synchronized or due to seizure, their teeth are damaged. In such cases, parents are completely unaware of their oral hygiene. Parents need to coordinate with the dentist to get guidance at such times. Synchronization of chewing can be done by showing them and eating along with them. Our mouth movement can be observed by them and hence they can follow.

Teeth get heavily damaged during a seizure. Certain precautions need to be taken during a seizure so that teeth are less affected, and the child can recover easily. This guidance can be provided by a good pediatric dentist only. Dentists have a different procedure to handle special kids. Management of special kids during the treatment is carried out in three phases:

Relief of pain and control of infections

Treatment of the existing untreated disease

Planning for prevention of further disease.

Treatment of dental diseases in special children is the same as carried out in other children except that they may require sedation even for routine cleanings, restorative procedures, and minimal oral surgery. 

A big and happy smile provokes a happy mood in children. Hence, to achieve your end goals parents must choose a proper oral health center like (Therapeuoclinic centre) which can provide world-class facilities with care.

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