June 25, 2024

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Dental tips for kids with health care needs

4 min read
Dental tips for kids with health care needs
A parent and child, standing next to one another, both hold aloft toothbrushes.
Moms and dads can enable make toothbrushing a comfy, enjoyable knowledge for little ones with special wellbeing care requirements. (Image: AdobeStock)

This is the initial of a two-component sequence giving dental tips to the mom and dad of kids with distinctive wellbeing care requires.  

The texture of a toothbrush’s bristles can be adequate to make dental cleanliness an uncomfortable enterprise for small children with particular health treatment wants. 

And for the reason that kids with autism spectrum diseases, cerebral palsyDown syndrome, and other circumstances are occasionally extra likely to build routines that impact oral health — like having sugary foods or chewing on inedible objects — it is very important to get them into a reliable rhythm of toothbrushing.

That is not generally quick, though. Each and every baby has “ups and downs,” according to Isabelle Chase, DDS, a senior associate in the Department of Dentistry at Boston Children’s Clinic. “There are generally occasions when they really don’t want to do what they need to do.” 

That’s why Dr. Chase endorses starting a toothbrushing schedule when children are infants. As they age, you can combine exciting and interactive experiences that will help them get pleasure from dental treatment and accept that they want to hold their tooth and gums healthful.

It is all about setting up a toothbrushing regimen

Kids with exclusive overall health treatment needs have issue adapting to modifications in plan and processing any variations that come up from new encounters, says Nicole Baumer, MD, director of the Down Syndrome System and a physician in the Autism Spectrum Center. They may well be frightened by a check out to the dentist. They can also have sensory sensitivities that make them resist the emotion of toothbrush bristles or the taste of flavored toothpaste. These and other hurdles align with investigate that demonstrates kids with specific health treatment requires have a greater chance of dental disease, Dr. Baumer suggests.

Dental hygiene can be manageable, Dr. Chase claims, if you brush your child’s to start with tooth as soon as it emerges, dabbing only a very small smear of toothpaste with fluoride on the brush. This early commence establishes a regime your boy or girl will occur to be expecting. As they age, you can integrate this and other steps that will help them concentration on the undertaking and ultimately deal with most of the brushing them selves:

Brush with a modest dab of fluoride-centered toothpaste 2 times a day, just about every working day. If your child doesn’t like flavored toothpaste, consider a flavor-free of charge brand name, as extended as it has fluoride, which strengthens enamel and helps prevent decay.

Combine toothbrushing with other every day routines or preferred routines. Brushing can be performed in the bathtub, for occasion. Or your child can phase away from the toilet and lie on a bed or soft carpet when holding a book, mirror, or digital gadget as you brush tough-to-reach tooth. It is about making the knowledge a lot more at ease. 

When your kid is young, you’ll do most of the brushing. As your little one ages and builds dexterity, you can alternate keeping the toothbrush, permitting them acquire more than for as lengthy as they can or want. Your change is an chance to make positive their brushing has been extensive. When they have entire handbook dexterity — tying their have shoelaces or getting able to shade inside traces are good indicators — they can do most, if not all, of the brushing. Parental guidance might carry on into adulthood for these who never have full use of their fingers. 

Take into consideration generating visual aids this sort of as process strips that spotlight the action-by-phase approach of toothbrushing: buying up the brush, operating the brush underneath h2o, placing toothpaste on the brush. A endeavor strip will enable little ones acquire a distinct and reliable plan.

Whilst tempting, do not get a day off

These dental ideas are a action toward building toothbrushing a comfy, enjoyable encounter for little ones with exclusive well being care needs. “Of training course, there will be times when nothing works, and it won’t be straightforward,” Dr. Chase suggests. Mother and father from time to time really do not want to thrust their children on all those days for dread of making dental hygiene a unfavorable expertise.

“But it’s superior for parents to established anticipations and limitations and stick with it,” she says. “Brush twice a day, every single working day, no matter how hard. That in alone is regularity. You have to push by.”

Master extra about the Division of Dentistry or make an appointment.

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