Oral Hygiene Guide for Children with Special Needs

December 8, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — drbenzley @ 12:59 am
mom helping daughter with special needs dentistry in Castle Rock

Though you may know how important it is to brush your teeth twice per day and floss once per day, children with emotional, behavioral, physical, or intellectual disabilities may struggle to do so. They may require additional help to properly clean their teeth if they have trouble remembering to do so or their fine motor skills make it difficult for them. Read on to learn four tips that can help you keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy with special needs dentistry in Castle Rock.

Tip #1. Establish a Routine

Many children with special needs find an established routine comforting. Because of this, it’s a good idea to make sure proper oral care is a part of their daily routine. If you skip brushing and flossing even once, you may encounter opposition when attempting to do these things in the future. So, make sure to prioritize their oral hygiene regimen every morning and night. You may even want to consider doing it together so you can be a good example and encourage healthy habits.

Tip #2. Get Creative

Adults often complete their oral hygiene routines on autopilot, but the National Institutes of Health encourage caregivers of special needs children to make daily oral hygiene fun by getting creative. Buy them a themed toothbrush featuring their favorite characters to entice their curiosity and play songs for them to listen to or dance to while they clean their teeth. 

Tip #3. Implement a Better Diet

Making sure your child attends regular visits to the dentist and has good dental care habits at home are instrumental in protecting their smile, but their diet is equally as important. Brush their teeth after they eat and right before they go to bed to clean away plaque and lower their risk of developing tooth decay. Limit the amount of soda, candy, and other sugary foods and drinks they consume. Make sure they drink plenty of water and eat tooth-healthy foods like lean meat, fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt.

#4. Find an Experienced Dentist

Many parents put off their little one’s first dental visit to avoid triggering their anxiety, but visiting the dentist regularly is a vital part of keeping your little one’s oral health in tip-top shape. Their dentist will be able to identify and treat small issues before they get worse. To make the process as easy as possible for both you and your little one, look for a dentist who has experience with special needs children. That way, they can get the high-quality, comfortable, and effective dental care they need.

As soon as your child’s first tooth emerges, they will be vulnerable to dental issues. So make sure to find a good dentist and implement a solid oral hygiene routine to help keep their pearly whites in good shape and their smile looking bright!

About the Author

Whether you’re a new patient or an existing one, Castle Rock Smiles Pediatric Dentistry is here to help you and your child learn to better care for their smile and keep their teeth healthy and beautiful. They have tons of experience helping growing smiles thrive and can make little ones feel comfortable and safe throughout their treatment. Want to make an appointment or have more questions about how to care for your special needs child’s teeth at home? Call their office at (303) 660-5373 or visit their website to get your little one started on their smile journey.