Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a severe type of autism characterized by deficient social interaction and restricted or repetitive patterns of thought and activity. According to research, ASD affects one in every 54 children.
Individuals with ASD have problems communicating and may have certain behavioral features, such as difficulty adjusting to changes in routine or new/unfamiliar places or sensory processing difficulties. Some study find that children with autism are more likely to get dental disease.
Do children with autism have dental problems?
A study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders found that children with ASD are more likely to have dental problems. The study looked at data from over 9,000 children with ASD and nearly 60,000 typically developing children. The findings showed that children with ASD were more likely to have cavities, missing teeth, and gum disease.
Why are children with autism more likely to have dental problems?
There are several reasons why children with ASD are more likely to have dental problems. First, many children with ASD have sensory processing difficulties, making them more sensitive to certain sights, smells, and textures. This can make them less likely to want to brush their teeth or go to the dentist.
Second, many children with ASD have difficulty adjusting to changes in routine or new/unfamiliar places. This can make it difficult to keep up with good oral hygiene practices. Lastly, some children with ASD may be more likely to chew on objects or suck their thumb, leading to tooth decay.
Reasons why children with autism spectrum have dental issues
Here are a few of the reasons that justify why ASD children have dental issues:
- Limited food choices or being a “textural” eater may cause youngsters to avoid brushing their teeth or using flavored toothpaste due to oral sensory issues.
- When the caregiver attempts to brush their teeth, children may be hyperactive or resistant. Medicines that aid in behavior management might lead to a dry mouth and insufficient saliva. Bacteria develop when a person’s mouth is dry, creating cavities.
What can dentists do to help manage children with autism?
There are several things that dentists can do to help manage children with ASD. First, dentists can make sure that they consider the child’s sensory processing difficulties when providing dental care. This may mean using a softer toothbrush, providing headphones for music or noise-canceling headphones, or flavored toothpaste.
Second, dentists can work with parents to help create a routine for brushing teeth and going to the dentist. This may include providing written instructions or sending reminder emails or texts. Finally, dentists can offer fluoride treatments and dental sealants to help protect the child’s teeth from cavities.
Managing children with autism can be challenging, but dentists with the right experience can help these children stay healthy and have a positive dental experience with the right strategies.
How to prepare your ASD Child for a dental visit?
- Make sure that your kid has a good night’s rest before the appointment.
- Check with the dental practice to see if you can come a few days before your kid’s appointment and take photographs of the parking lot, front door, waiting room, dental chair, and dental equipment. You may then print these as a picture book or make a digital album and show your child what will happen at the dentist visit in pictures.
- Make sure that your kids have taken their medicine on time.
- If your kid is calmer with a weighted blanket, please let the dentist know ahead of time. You could bring it to the appointment, or the dentist might use a lead apron to help your youngster feel at ease.
Questions to ask the pediatric dentist
Here are a few questions you can ask your kid’s pediatric dentists.
Q: Can my child get the laughing gas if they are scared?
It’s possible. If your kid can keep the system’s nosepiece on their face, they may safely use laughing gas (nitrous oxide). Before the next appointment, the dentist may give you a nosepiece to take home and ask you to practice breathing with it.
Q: Can my child be sedated for dental treatment?
Maybe. If your kid can swallow medicines, they may be sedated. The dentist might be able to administer the sedation medication through your child’s nose if swallowing pills is difficult.
Q: Is there anything the dentist should do differently for my child, given their age?
Cavities can affect any child, regardless of whether or not they have an autistic spectrum disorder. Dental cavities are preventable by following a healthy, low-sugar diet and regular brushing and flossing.
How to find a pediatric dentist for Children with Autism Spectrum?
If you’re looking for a pediatric dentist that specializes in caring for children with ASD, ask your pediatrician for a referral. You can also search online for “pediatric dentist autism” or “pediatric dentist with experience in autism.”
If you are looking for the best pediatric dentist with experience in treating kids with autism spectrum, you can get in touch with Dr. Yasmin. She is one of the few dentists who has a lot of experience in treating kids with autism spectrum, and she can help you make sure that your child has a good experience at the dentist.