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How Can I Help My Child with Special Needs Practice Excellent Oral Hygiene?

May 17, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — sproutdentistryforkids @ 10:16 pm
Dentist cares for child

If your child has special needs, it may take a special effort to teach them to practice proper oral hygiene. Young children often lack the fine motor skills necessary to clean their teeth and gums well, and a physical, emotional, intellectual, behavioral, or communication disability can make the matter even more difficult. Here are a few of the ways that have helped people successfully teach oral hygiene to their kids with disabilities.

Have Ingenuity

A little creativity and problem-solving can go a long way in teaching proper oral hygiene to children with disabilities. One mom found that trying to clean her baby’s teeth with a finger brush only gave the child an excuse to bite her fingers. She devised a way to help her child clean his teeth by giving him a wet, clean washcloth to chew on for several minutes after waking up and before bed. She also helped him scrub all of his teeth by moving the washcloth about in his mouth. She finished the ritual by giving him water to drink since he hadn’t yet learned to rinse and spit.

Set an Example

Children imitate their parents, so modeling excellent oral hygiene can be a great way to help them get on board with it. One mother was having trouble teaching her child to brush his teeth, so she gave him a child’s toothbrush to chew upon while she brushed her own. This allowed him to get used to the feeling of the toothbrush while he observed his mother practicing proper oral hygiene. She eventually began putting toothpaste on his brush so he could become accustomed to the flavor.

Be Consistent

It’s important to make sure that your child carries out their oral hygiene ritual every morning and night. Accidentally skipping a session can throw off the whole rhythm, leading to the child being uncooperative when the time to brush comes again. After some time, your child will get used to the feeling of their teeth being brushed. You may want to consider using a children’s brand of toothpaste that has a milder flavor than adult varieties.

Proper oral hygiene is essential to preventing the development of cavities and tooth decay in children with special needs. Getting them started on the path to oral health early can help them maintain a beautiful smile for life.

About the Practice

Sprout Dentistry for Kids of McKinney delivers excellent pediatric dental health services to the community of McKinney, TX. Led by Drs. Justin Chan and Sage Yoo, the staff is dedicated to helping every child receiving treatment in their office achieve excellent oral health for life. Areas of expertise include general, restorative, cosmetic, and emergency dentistry. To learn more about helping a child with special needs learn proper oral hygiene, contact the office online or dial (469) 813-7127.

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