Nearly 13% of children under the age of 18, or 9.4 million children in the country, have special needs. Many of these children require special attention to ensure they maintain their oral health.
Otherwise, they might have a number of icky cavities to deal with.
It’s important your special needs child visits an Arlington kids dentist. Otherwise, those cavities can escalate into conditions such as gum disease. You might also fail to find a dentist who understands how to provide the proper care for your special needs child.
Brush up on your child’s oral health!
Keep reading to discover why your special needs child should visit a pediatric dentist.
Why It’s Important
Every child requires consistent oral care. However, children with special needs are often at a higher risk of gum disease, tooth decay (cavities), and oral trauma.
13% of children have cavities that go untreated.
Special needs children often feel overanxious at the thought of visiting the dentist. These patients can benefit from a special needs pediatric dentist who can provide extra reassurance. These dentists are also familiar with special needs patients.
Their previous experience can benefit your child with every treatment they receive.
Choosing an Arlington kids dentist who isn’t familiar with special needs patients, on the other hand, can prove stressful. The dental team might not know how to react to your child’s condition. This could impact their oral care and your child’s sense of comfort.
Oral Health Challenges
Children with special needs experience certain oral health challenges. For example, they often experience additional sensitivity around an oral cavity. Parents can benefit from speaking to a dentist for special needs children.
Speaking to our Arlington kids dentist can ensure you have all the information you need to maintain your child’s oral health.
As your child grows older, they’ll experience oral structure changes. They might also develop feeding problems. You’ll need to prepare for these upcoming changes.
A special needs pediatric dentist can equip you with the best methods to handle these developmental changes. Otherwise, you might struggle to ensure your child’s oral health at home.
For example, some special needs children have a difficult time opening their mouths completely. Issues with jaw development can impact their healthy oral habits. Your child might have a difficult time flossing and brushing every day.
If they fail to brush and floss, it could lead to gum disease and cavities.
Special needs children with sensory challenges also experience challenges. For example, the sensation and texture of a toothbrush and toothbrush might cause them discomfort. This can lead them to avoid brushing their teeth and flossing.
Other special needs children have a limited diet. If they’re eating foods that are high in sugars, they’re more likely to develop cavities.
If you’re experiencing these challenges with your special needs child, consider seeing our Arlington kids dentist. Our team can help ensure your child finds the care they need. Working with a special needs pediatric dentist will benefit your child’s oral health for the long-term.
Instead of working through these challenges on your own, you’ll have the help and guidance from a professional.
Acclimating to the Dentist
It’s also important that special needs children acclimate to their dentist. Otherwise, every checkup will prove difficult for the dentist, child, and parents.
Every child has a difficult time feeling comfortable at the dentist at first. Over time, they’ll adapt to the strange environment and procedures. A special needs pediatric dentist can help your child by creating a customized program.
This program will meet their emotional, mental, and physical needs.
As a result, they’ll have an easier time acclimating to the dentist’s office.
For example, some dentists start with a special playtime visit for each child. This helps them adapt to the environment while putting them in a good mood. Some offices are equipped with toys, magazines, and books to help your child feel comfortable.
Then, your child will transition into one of the office rooms.
Here, you’ll discuss your child’s dental needs with our Arlington kids dentist. You’ll discuss how to take care of your child’s teeth and necessary procedures moving forward.
A dental assistant can then show your child their dental chair and the different instruments. Allowing your child to view their environment can help them become more familiar with the setting. Then, when it’s time for their appointment, they’ll feel less afraid about sounds and people around them.
This time is also a great opportunity for the dentist to learn your child’s cues. That way, the actual dental appointment is easier for everyone involved.
Some children get immediately wary about sitting in a dentist’s chair. If your child has a difficult time remaining calm in new environments, it’s okay. Some children need extra help to remain calm and comfortable throughout their checkups.
For example, some children have sensory challenges or extreme anxiety.
Sedation dentistry can help them relax throughout the duration of their procedure.
In some cases, a pediatric dentist will recommend nitrous oxide. Also known as laughing gas, this can help keep your child calm and comfortable throughout their treatment. Our Arlington kids dentist can ensure your child feels comfortable while receiving the oral care they need.
You can speak with our dentist today to discuss whether or not sedation dentistry is right for your special needs child.
Brush Up on Oral Health: The Best Arlington Kids Dentist for Your Special Needs Child
Above all else, you want to make sure your child is comfortable. By visiting a special needs pediatric dentist, you can ensure your child is receiving the special care they need. The right dentist for the job while prioritizing your child’s oral health and their comfort.
Searching for an Arlington kids dentist for your special needs child? We know little teeth are a big deal! Contact us today or schedule an appointment online for your little one!