DENTAL CARE FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS (PART 1)
Caring for children with special needs is a full time job. Many parents and care-givers may not know what it takes to give their special children the dental care they need.
We shared a few things to help parents and caregivers on this journey.
DENTAL CARE FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
As soon as Timi Thompson was born, his parents knew he was a special child. The doctors diagnosed Timi with Down’s Syndrome a few days after birth and his parents’ lives changed forever. They knew he would not be able to care for himself as quickly as other children his age and that he would need special care and attention for a long time.
The doctors had also informed them that a dental check up every three months had to be part of his routine.
Individuals with special needs are those who require special consideration when receiving dental treatment due to physical, medical, developmental or cognitive conditions. They are often unable to fully meet their dental needs by themselves.
It can be a challenge to balance the medical and dental needs of your special child. In fact, it is so easy for urgent medical issues to take the focus while dental care takes second place.
The challenge is this, research has shown that special children are at a higher risk of untreated dental problems compared to children without any disabilities.
This is why it is so important for parents and caregivers to be intentional about their dental care.
TIPS FOR PARENTS AND CAREGIVERS
Dental care for a child or relative with special needs can be very challenging for many reasons including:
It has been found that children with special needs have a higher risk of untreated dental problems than children without any disabilities.
This happens for many reasons which include:
- They may have to take a lot of sugary medicines.
- They may be uncooperative while brushing
- It’s easy for care givers to neglect their dental care because of the strain of frequent medical crises
The underlying medical illness in children with special needs may directly impact on their oral health, resulting in a variety of dental problems.
Their medical care routines may also affect dental care and treatments.
It is important to see the dentist in order to overcome these challenges.
Children with special needs usually have various hospital appointments with their physicians.
In addition to this, it is important for your special child to visit the dentist frequently, every 3 months.
This can be tasking, so we recommend that you discuss with your dentist and draw out a plan that works for you.
The special care these children need usually result in higher financial costs.
We understand this and it is one more reason to visit the dentist frequently.
When it comes to dental care, prevention is cheaper and easier than cure.
One way to prevent dental problems is to go for regular dental check-up visits and attend all follow-up appointments.
It’s important for every parent and care-giver to be aware of the challenges.
The challenges are real but practical help is available when you visit the dentist.