Pediatric dental issues in kids are often overlooked. It is because of the assumption that children will not experience any difficulty with their teeth until they become adults. However, this is not true.
When it comes to pediatric dentistry, many issues may be present in children with special needs and disabilities. These include oral trauma, malocclusion (crooked teeth), delayed eruption of permanent teeth, missing or impacted wisdom teeth, and more.
In this article, we will discuss how to determine if kids need a pediatric dentist. Also, we will discuss the common therapies to manage Pediatric Dental Issues for Special Needs Children. So, let’s get started.
How to determine that your child needs Special needs pediatric dentist?
To determine kids with special needs like the autism spectrum, you need to see your kid’s dentist. It is the only one who can diagnose your child’s teeth problems and give proper treatment to them.
Here are some common pediatric dental issues that children with special needs may experience:
1- Oral trauma
When a child falls, bites their tongue, or gets hit in the face by an object like a toy or ball, they can experience oral injuries.
This is another common dental issue in children with special needs like autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It refers to the misalignment of teeth or improper positioning of upper and lower jaws that lead to crooked teeth.
Crooked teeth are always difficult for everyone because they make breathing difficult and cause improper alignment of jaw muscles.
3- Delayed eruption
In some children, the baby teeth don’t fall off even when adult ones replace them. So this leaves a gap between them in which food particles accumulate, causing decay or infection that leads to pain and swelling of gums.
These problems can occur for various reasons, like some genetic disorders and developmental abnormalities.
4- Missing teeth
Children with special needs like Down syndrome can experience missing or incomplete development of permanent teeth, causing misplacement of adult ones.
This gives them a different appearance and affects their ability to chew food properly, which in turn causes difficulties swallowing, speaking, etc. Missing teeth may be difficult to detect in children with special needs because they tend to brush their teeth less often.
5- Impacted wisdom teeth
The removal of impacted or unerupted third molars (wisdom teeth) is a common practice worldwide. This is mainly done due to issues like gum disease, overcrowding and damage to adjacent teeth after erupting, etc. In children with disabilities, wisdom teeth may cause serious problems because of their inability to handle the pain and difficulty in managing food particles.
Dental treatments for Pediatric Special need Kids
Some common dental treatments for special pediatric needs are:
It is a type of therapy for kids with developmental disabilities. It helps enhance the quality of life by improving communication, social skills, and behavior using positive reinforcement methods.
Behavioral treatment techniques are adapted during dental care. This way, children can be more receptive towards oral health procedures like cleaning teeth or taking X-rays etc. It also trains the children to brush their teeth regularly.
These are used mainly when a child has crooked or uneven teeth that need correction. Pediatric dentists also use braces for a child with special needs like in case of missing teeth and more.
In such cases, kids’ dentists use braces to attach implants to the adjacent teeth so they can remain in place while healing takes place.
A space maintainer is a device attached on top of existing teeth or between two teeth that are apart to prevent movement of the teeth and maintain space. Space maintainers are used when a child has lost all or some baby teeth prematurely, which can cause overcrowding in their mouth.
These are sticky substances applied on top of each tooth’s surface below the gum line. The core purpose is just to prevent food particles and plaque accumulation. Although sealants do not provide any structural support to the teeth, they can be quite helpful in keeping them healthy and strong for a longer period.
Finding a Pediatric Dentist for Kids with Special needs:
If your child has special needs, they need to have a regular dentist. A pediatric dentist provides valuable information about oral hygiene. Also, they guide any dental problems that may arise due to medical conditions associated with the disability.
Regular checkups are very helpful. They don’t only allow the dentist to detect problems at the early stages but also help to prevent them from progressing into more complicated conditions. Visiting a pediatric dentist for regular checkups can be quite helpful in identifying dental issues that are common among children with special needs.
In case you’re looking for the best pediatric dentist in Dubai for your little one, then you should visit Dr. Yasmin. She is one of the most well-reputed and certified kids’ dentists. No matter if you have a kid with special needs like tied tongue or autism, or if you’re looking for pediatric dental emergencies, Dr. Yasmin is here to help.