Oral Health Challenges for Children with Disabilities
Some children with disabilities have challenges that affect their oral health. These challenges may include:
- Children with physical disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, may not have the motor skills needed to use a toothbrush safely or to sit still in a dental chair during dental visits.
- Children with intellectual disabilities may not know how to brush their teeth, protect their teeth from injury, or cooperate with dental office staff while getting oral health care.
- Children with communication disorders, such as delayed speech and language development, may not be able to tell their parents that their mouth hurts or they have a toothache.
- Children who get frequent medical care, such as having many doctor visits or hospital stays, may be afraid of the dental office and may not cooperate during visits.
- Children who take medicines with added sugars or that cause dry mouth are at high risk for tooth decay. Sugar is added to some medicines to make them taste better. Other medicines used to treat cerebral palsy, seizures, and depression can cause dry mouth by lowering the amount of saliva in the mouth. Saliva plays an important role in preventing tooth decay. Medicines given to children with medical diseases or disorders, such as asthma or allergies, can also cause dry mouth.
- Children on special diets may be at high risk for developing tooth decay. Foods that are soft or high in starch (for example, potatoes or corn) stick to children’s teeth and give caries-causing bacteria in the mouth more time to cause tooth decay.
- Source: Brush Up on Oral Health Newsletter (Copyright © 2013 The National Center on Health)
For more articles on dental health, see our main blog page.
We Look Forward To Welcoming You And Your Child…
You will find our office to be a pleasant and caring environment. We know a positive experience can set the tone for your child’s future dental health. That is why our office has been designed to be “kid friendly”. Even more importantly, our pediatric dentists and professional staff have dedicated their careers to helping children. We establish trust with your child by creating a safe and happy place for them to be. The latest in dental technology is combined with genuine compassion and concern.
We are open Monday through Saturday and offer appointments as early as 7:30am
The first checkup is recommended at the first birthday. Our patients generally stay with us until they graduate high school. We are proud to say we are now seeing the children of former patients, as the practice was established in 1973 by Dr. Robert Harmon.
We have 24 hour coverage for our patient’s dental emergencies. There is a pediatric dentist on call at all times. Should you need after hours advice or emergency care, simply dial our telephone number and our message will direct you.
Are we accepting new patients? Yes, absolutely! We are happy to welcome new patients to our practice and we appreciate your referring your friends and family to us.