Dental Care For Special Needs Children: The Basics

Parents of special needs kids have a lot of extra responsibilities compared to other parents. One of their most important things on their plate is to ensure that the child maintains good oral and dental health. Your special needs child may require dental care that is somewhat different from other children. The following article takes a closer look at this extremely important pediatric health topic. 

Issue Related to Conditions 

In some cases, your child may have dental problems that are specifically related to his medical condition. For example, children with Down's Syndrome may have teeth that are malformed or they might have extra teeth or missing teeth. This could lead to various issues, such as gum disease and tooth decay. Children who have impaired immune systems may be more susceptible to gum problems and tooth decay also. 

The medication your child takes could also compromise their oral health in some instances. If your child needs to take medications with added sugar, for example, this could spur dental decay.  

Finding the Right Dentist 

It can be somewhat problematic to find the best dentist for a special needs child. You want to find one who is not only experienced in pediatric dentistry, but has been trained to deal with children who have various medical and development issues. On excellent idea is to get in touch with the Special Care Dental Association. This organization can provide you with a list of oral care providers in your area who are trained to deal with children with special needs. 


When you talk with a dentist who might be a good candidate to treat your youngster, ask if they offer pre-appointments. This gives your child a chance to get to know the dentist and become familiar with the clinic's environment before he or she has to undergo any procedures. It also gives the dentist an opportunity to learn more about your child and to formulate a treatment plan geared especially to their unique medical or developmental situation. 

If your child uses a wheelchair, make certain that you inspect the clinic for any accessibility issues. You want to ensure that maneuvering the chair through the doors and hallways does not present you with any difficulties. 

Children with special needs are almost twice as likely to have dental issues that are not being addressed than other children. You can keep any oral care problems to a minimum by selecting a dentist who has specialized training in this field.