Children with special needs are at a higher risk of developing oral health care issues due to the challenges that they may face with managing their hygiene at home. Your child may also have specific behaviors or physical challenges that make it more difficult to attend dental appointments. Fortunately, there are dentists out there who are ready to help. A clinic that focuses on special needs dentistry can provide these benefits to your child's oral health.
Make Dental Appointments More Comfortable
When you schedule an appointment with a special needs dentist, you can expect to be asked questions that help the dental team to tailor their services to fit your child's needs. For instance, a child with a severe behavioral disorder may need short appointments that do not require them to sit for long periods of time. Children with physical disabilities may need a special chair or accessories such as pillows to prevent them from being uncomfortable. Depending upon your child's needs, they may also want to assign extra staff to help out during the appointment. Having everything in place before you arrive gives your child a greater chance of having a successful visit.
Establish a Dental Home
Having a child with special needs often means having to explain their challenges over and over again every time you encounter a new health care provider. A dental home is a clinic where you know that everyone already knows what your child needs. In addition to streamlining your appointments, your child will benefit from knowing each member of the dental team. With each new visit, your child develops a bond with their dentist and the rest of the staff. This helps them build a rapport that makes routine exams and treatments easier.
Get Advice That Is Tailored to Your Child's Abilities
Many of the things that your child needs to do to take care of their teeth may be more challenging due to their current level of abilities. For example, your child may lack the hand strength they need to grip their toothbrush, or a child with oral sensitivities may refuse to use their toothpaste. A special needs dentist knows how to address these types of issues, and they can provide you with information on how to ease strain during your at-home oral hygiene routines. From recommending a specific type of toothbrush to showing you how to develop a routine that works for children with behavioral health disorders, your child's dentist works with you to give actionable advice that prevents tooth decay and gum disease.Share