Dental Care is Not Impossible With a Special Needs Child

Dental Checkup Santa Clara, CA

When you are the parent of a special needs child, dental care is an area that can easily be forgotten. With all the demands, doctor visits, pressing medical issues, therapists and more, adding one more office visit may be the last thing you want to do.

However, it is important that all children receive regular dental care. Dental care for special needs children is vital. Various genetic orders can actually leave children prone to gum diseases or decay. They may have delays in tooth eruption and/or malformed, missing or extra teeth. Impaired mobility may make it difficult for them to brush their teeth, and habitual grinding is not uncommon for those with cerebral palsy or severe intellectual disabilities.

Dental care visits should start early

Before the age of one, dentists recommend that all children have their first dental visit. In addition to evaluating a child’s development, the dentist is able to help educate the parent on a home care routine, and the child becomes familiar with the visits.

Dental care for special needs children

Dentists in general, especially pediatric dentists, know how to interact with patients with disabilities. They are trained to care for patients with special needs. Before committing to dental care for a special needs child, call ahead and ask if they have experience treating children with similar needs. Ask about best-practice recommendations for patients with specific needs.

Find a dentist who makes you and your child comfortable. It is important to find a dentist and clinic you trust. Dental care for special needs children should be consistent and familiar. Choosing a place and remaining there for years helps reduce the child’s anxiety and possibly the caregiver's as well.

There are clinics that specialize in providing care for special needs patients and are equipped with the necessary chairs, equipment and knowledge to create a comfortable caring environment for the patient and the caregiver.

Preventive dental care is the best treatment

Tooth decay is mostly preventable. While developmental problems can make children more accessible to dental issues, a pediatric dentist can help identify problems early on and create a plan for care. Part of this is in teaching a child and their caregiver how to properly care for the teeth. Children with sensory issues might find this difficult, and strategies, tools and a patient approach can be developed by closely working with the dentist.

Dental health should be a priority from the very beginning. The more familiar and routine it becomes, the better the chance that the child’s oral health will remain healthy.

Stay positive

Caregivers see greater success when they prepare their child before the first visit. Whether it is a certain routine leading up to the visit, a fun activity, a distraction or preparing by bringing the child’s favorite comfort toy, it is important to prep the child for success. Anxiety is contagious, but so is a positive attitude.

Request an appointment here: or call You Smile Dental at (408) 361-8133 for an appointment in our Santa Clara office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Dental Checkup.


Recent Posts

Common Dental Restoration Procedures

Common Dental Restoration Procedures

Patients who have issues such as cracked, fractured, missing or decayed teeth may need a dental restoration to help improve their smiles. There are numerous treatment options available to repair teeth.These are the most common procedures for patients who are in need of a smile makeover.This restoration is one of the most common treatments in…

Oral Care Tips To Avoid Needing A Dental Filling

Oral Care Tips To Avoid Needing A Dental Filling

When a tooth has a cavity, sometimes a dental filling can be used to repair the tooth. Many dental professionals usually recommend treating cavities early to prevent complications. As with most other dental conditions, prevention is key to keeping your teeth and your mouth healthy. Here is how you can prevent cavities and avoid the…