Child with special needs smiles while sitting in a wheelchair in a gym

Pediatric Dental Issues for Children with Special Needs

November 30, 2021 5:50 am
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Oftentimes, children with special needs need a higher level of medical care and attention. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for oral health to fall by the wayside. Oral health plays a huge role in quality of life and overall health, so it’s important that it isn’t overlooked. Here are some common pediatric dental issues special needs children may face and some tips for helping them achieve and maintain a healthy smile!

Dental Cavities

Many children with special needs are not able to properly brush and floss their teeth for a variety of reasons, such as mobility, hand-eye coordination, or brain development. This can make them more susceptible to developing cavities and tooth decay. Cavities occur when bad bacteria sit on teeth for extended periods of time and harden into plaque. The plaque eats away at enamel. If teeth aren’t regularly cleaned, the bacteria will run rampant and wreak havoc on a child’s teeth and gums.

Gum Disease

Inadequate oral hygiene can also cause gum disease. When food debris isn’t cleaned away from teeth, the bacteria can infect the soft tissue. When bacteria infect the gums, it can cause gum recession, swelling, bleeding, and eventually, tooth loss. Additionally, unless it is brushed and flossed away every day, plaque will harden into a substance called tartar that causes gum irritation

Biannual Dental Cleanings & Exams

One of the best ways to ensure special needs children maintain a healthy smile is by getting biannual dental cleanings and exams. Biannual visits include a thorough dental examination and teeth cleaning to keep their oral health on track. Hygienists can remove any plaque or tartar buildup during the cleanings and the dentist will check for any dental issues. With regular visits, dentists can catch oral health issues early on and treat them before they become more serious.

Schedule Your Child’s Appointment!

Is your child overdue for their dental cleaning and exam? We can help! At Safari Children’s Dentistry & Braces, we take great pride in offering friendly, gentle dental care for kids in San Antonio, TX. Our compassionate team works hard to ensure kids feel comfortable and safe during their visits. Please contact our office to schedule an appointment!

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