Attempting to clean a child’s teeth and gums can be a difficult task for any parent. Far too often, kids are more concerned with playing and doing whatever is necessary to avoid these morning and nighttime rituals. But these common oral hygiene routines can be even more of a challenge if your child has special needs. Whether it is physical, developmental, or behavioral, your child may be at a higher risk for many of the most common dental problems. A special needs dentist in Garland offers insight into what you, as a parent, can expect and how a qualified professional can help.
Your Special Needs Child and Their Dental Health
It is possible that as a parent of a child with special needs, you may undergo much more of a challenge when it comes to keeping their teeth and gums healthy. This is why seeking a dental practice that offers special needs dentistry is so pivotal.
Children born with Down syndrome or other genetic disorders are often prone to delayed tooth eruption, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. When these teeth do erupt, they may appear abnormal or deformed. But it is also possible that one or more of their teeth may never erupt while in childhood.
Teeth that erupt abnormally and come in misaligned can often result in a higher risk for gum disease and tooth decay because of the increased difficulty in trying to brush and floss them correctly.
For children with intellectual disabilities or cerebral palsy, teeth grinding is quite common and will require that you seek a children’s dentist in Garland who can provide the right method of treatment to avoid the continued breakdown of tooth enamel.
While tooth decay and gum disease are prime dental problems for all children, those who must take certain medications because of an impaired immune system or connective tissue disorder are much more likely to face these common issues. Why? Because these medications often contain high amounts of sugar and/or cause the mouth to become dry. As a result, there is not enough saliva production to flush out the sugar, allowing these damaging particles to adhere to their teeth and eat away at the tooth enamel and attack the gum tissue.
How a Special Needs Dentist Can Help
Although it may seem as if you are fighting a losing battle, making sure you have a special needs dentist in Garland who is trained and equipped to treat these young patients can help lift what feels to be a heavy burden.
By bringing your child in for regular dental checkups and cleanings, your child’s dentist can build a relationship with them early on, allowing them to make this often challenging process much easier for both you and your child. Being able to provide a gentle touch and understanding how to approach and interact with your little one and their needs can make all the difference in the world.
You will likely find that a special needs dentist offers sedation methods to ensure your child remains safe and comfortable during their visit. By informing your dental team about your child’s needs, they can recommend the right form of sedation that will help them to feel more relaxed. As a result, you will be able to breathe a sigh of relief knowing your child’s teeth and gums are getting the treatment they deserve.
Knowing how to care for your child’s smile at home is important. But what is equally as valuable is finding an expert in your area who can offer assistance when it comes to improving your little one’s oral health.
About the Author
Dr. Lily Hoang is a board-certified pediatric dentist and parent. She achieved her doctorate at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, CA before going a step further and finishing her Advanced Education in General Dentistry certification at the Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn and her pediatric certification at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. Dr. Hoang and her team want what is best for your child, and they understand how challenging it can be to safeguard their smile when faced with certain physical, developmental, and behavioral needs. If you and your family are looking for a practice that offers special needs dentistry, visit our website or call (469) 925-0861.