Pediatric Dentist for Children With Special Needs

pediatric dentist Richmond, TX

The pediatric dentist caters to all children, including those with special needs. Special needs children are often at a higher risk of developing gum disease, tooth decay, or oral trauma. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry describes special health care needs as any form of sensory, emotional, physical, behavioral, cognitive, mental, or developmental restricting condition or impairment that demands specialized attention, medical management, and healthcare intervention. Whether the child’s condition is congenital, developmental, or a result of a disease, excellent oral care, including routine visits to the pediatric dentist is crucial to the child’s general well-being.

Pediatric dentists and children with special needs

Many special needs children experience high sensitivity in their oral cavity. Consulting with a professional pediatric dentist can significantly help parents deal with changes in the child’s oral structure, feeding problems, and prepare them for the developmental stages that may occur in the future.

Some special needs children may have a problem opening their mouth completely due to jaw malformation. This could make brushing and flossing regularly harder and predispose them to the risk of gum disease and cavities. Children with sensory challenges are usually uncomfortable with the sensation and texture of the toothbrush and toothpaste. Others have a restricted diet with high sugar content that may cause cavities and other dental issues.

Due to these difficulties, parents must find a pediatric dentist that is experienced in handling special needs children. The pediatric dentist will become the therapeutic partner, which means finding a dentist that is attentive and provides helpful suggestions is vital to the lasting oral health of special needs children.

Helping the child adjust to the dentist

Many children find it hard to adjust to the dentist initially, and the process is even harder for children with special needs. The pediatric dentist will work with the parent to develop a plan that caters to the mental, physical, and emotional needs of the child to help them adjust to the experience of going for dental appointments.

In most situations, the child may benefit from special playtime visits where they can visit the dental office and get familiar with the environment. Many children’s dentists have playrooms full of toys, books, and magazines that will make the child feel comfortable staying in the office. Parents can take their children on multiple visits until they adjust.

During another visit, the child may try sitting in the dental chairs, and the dentist can explain some of the dental tools in the room. If the child agrees, such visits can include a short examination and dental cleaning. A good pediatric dentist monitors the child for cues.

Sedation dentistry is another option provided for special needs children with sensory challenges and high dental anxiety. It ensures a pleasant experience for children and parents, ensuring that the child gets the best dental care needed for optimal health.

Final note

Although visiting the pediatric dentist is not always convenient, routine oral care is vital for special needs children as they are often at a higher risk of developing oral health issues. Consult a pediatric dentist to know how they help your child get the best dental care possible.

Request an appointment here: https://www.grandparkwaypediatricdental.com or call Grand Parkway Pediatric Dental at (832) 579-0960 for an appointment in our Richmond office.

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