Top Tooth Tips For Kids With Special Needs

If your child has special needs, then taking care of their teeth is a responsibility that comes with a few extra challenges. However, there are ways to work around these challenges, work with your child, and still keep their teeth clean and healthy. Every child is different, but you should be able to benefit from at least a few of these top tips.

1. Find a good special needs dentist.

Look for a dentist who specializes in the care of special needs children. In bigger cities, you may find a whole practice dedicated to these services. In smaller towns, there may be a pediatric dentist who, as a part of their business, treats special needs children. Not only are these dentists better at communicating with children with special needs, but their practices are set up for it. They have "extras" like stuffed animals for support, smaller dental tools, and appropriate games for kids to play while they wait.

2. Visit the dentist before an appointment to help your child feel comfortable.

Always take your child to the dental office for a visit before their actual appointment. This way, you will both be familiar with the setting once the appointment does arrive. You won't have to ask where the bathroom is, and your child won't be as nervous about their surroundings, which can make getting through the cleaning and checkup so much easier.

3. Say "yes" to mild sedation, if needed.

For special needs children who are really fidgety or have a hard time staying calm long enough to have their teeth cleaned, dentists often recommend mild sedatives. There is nothing to fear if this is what the dentist recommends. These medications are very safe, they wear off quickly, and they will simply help your child relax so their teeth can be cared for properly.

4. Experiment with different toothbrushes — and accept that you may have to brush their teeth for the time being.

When it comes to dental care at home, ask the dentist to recommend a toothbrush that will work well for your child's mouth. You may even have to try a few toothbrushes before you find one that is both easy to use, and that your child likes. It's amazing how much more willing kids can be to have their teeth brushed if the toothbrush is their favorite color or has some glitter on it! While you may ultimately want to teach your child to brush their own teeth, often it is best to simply accept this is one thing you'll do for them for quite a while — because then you know it is being done properly.

With the tips above, you can take better care of your special needs child's teeth. A good dentist will help you out and give you additional tips based on your child's unique needs. Find a special needs dentist in your area today.