Special Needs Dentistry

Parents of children with autism have a lot of their plates. They must work with so many medical professionals to ensure their child’s well-being. The last thing they need is to have to worry about dental care.

The team at Glow Up Dentistry in Richmond specializes in autism dentistry and other special needs. We will be happy to discuss your loved one’s needs and create a treatment plan to ensure their oral and overall health.

special needs dentistry

The Importance Of Special Needs Dentistry

Individuals with special needs have unique dental needs. Therefore, it is critical to get an early start on dental care, including regular visits to the dentist, to prevent oral and overall health issues. This is known as preventive dentistry, which starts at home with good oral hygiene habits, including brushing and flossing.

Conditions That Benefit From Special Needs Dentistry

There are many conditions that can benefit from special needs dentistry including autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and other physical, mental, or emotional disabilities.

Meeting Special Needs Through Sedation Dentistry

Some professionals believe the benefits of sedation outweigh the risks, while others do not feel this way. Glow Up Dentistry offers a minimal sedation option. This allows the patient to relax for treatment but keeps them coherent enough that they can respond to touch or verbal cues.

The Process Of Consulting With A Special Needs Dentist

When consulting with a special needs dentist, it is critical to make sure that they have experience and expertise with the special needs that your loved one has. Different conditions have different care needs. Ask as many questions as you need to we want you to feel comfortable allowing us to treat your loved one.

Helping Parents Manage Their Special Children's Oral Health At Home

As soon as you bring your special needs child home from the hospital, it’s important to establish an oral care routine. Wipe their gums with a damp washcloth or gauze pad and, once teeth begin to erupt, use a soft toothbrush, and gently floss around the teeth. Start taking them to the dentist as soon as the first tooth erupts and ask about how much and what kind of toothpaste to use.

If your child is unable to rinse or gags easily, use an antiseptic rinse if they are old enough and can tolerate the strong taste. This will reduce their risk of tooth decay.

Be sure to serve meals that are packed with vitamins and minerals and limit or avoid sugary or starchy foods. Make sure to keep healthy snacks on hand and save sweet treats for special occasions. Finally, always have them clean their teeth after they eat to rinse away food debris and bacteria.

Schedule an Appointment for Special Needs Dentistry In Richmond, Texas Today!

If your loved one has autism or other special considerations, schedule a consultation with the team at Glow Up Dentistry in Richmond. We have the experience and expertise to diagnose and treat a variety of dental issues in special needs patients.

Special Needs Dentistry FAQs

The team at Glow Up Dentistry in Richmond understands the challenges faced by individuals with autism and other special needs. If you have any questions or concerns, we are here for you at any time. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about special needs dentistry.

Special needs dentistry involves the diagnosis and treatment of dental issues in individuals with a physical or cognitive disability or those who have physical, emotional, or medical issues.

Yes, there are certain dental issues that are common in individuals with special needs, including:

  • Increased risk of tooth decay
  • Periodontal disease
  • Malocclusion
  • Teeth grinding
  • Food pouching
  • Mouth breathing
  • Tongue thrusting
  • Oral malformation
  • Delayed tooth eruption
  • Trauma/injury

Establishing proper oral hygiene habits early can help support oral and overall health. In addition, visiting the dentist every 6 months for an exam and cleaning can diagnose, treat, and prevent issues from escalating.

Schedule a “getting acquainted” visit prior to treatment. This will give the patient a chance to become familiar with the office and the people in it. You will also want to discuss the following:

How will the treatment be carried out: in a hospital or dental clinic?
Any special accommodations for the patient or any pre-medication that may be required.
The purpose of the visit: cleaning, exam, filling, extraction, or other treatment.

Yes, autistic people can go to the dentist- and should. In fact, some research indicates that autism increases the risk of certain dental issues.

Some patients with autism are hypersensitive to everything and can easily become overstimulated. Some are hyposensitive and show little to no reaction to stimulation, including pain.

If possible, schedule a visit to the clinic that does not include treatment. This will allow your child to become familiar with the clinic and the people there. After that, only you know what will calm your child. Do what you need to, but avoid interfering with the treatment process.

There is no standard answer to this question. Every child is different. Some can tolerate anesthesia, while others react badly to it. Consult with your medical provider to determine if the benefits of anesthesia outweigh the potential risks.

Yes, autistic children can get braces if needed. However, parents and caregivers should be aware that these dental appliances can be challenging because autistic children do not interact with the world as typical children do. Some are hypersensitive and overreact to everything. Others are hyposensitive and never seem to react to anything.

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