By: Dr. Christopher Lim
Posted on: August 27, 2019
Thousands of children in this country have special health care needs. These conditions include developmental disorders, behavioral issues, cognitive problems, genetic disorders, and systemic diseases. While each child’s situation is unique, they have one thing in common – an increased risk of developing oral disease.
Dr. Christopher Lim and his team at Hillside Dental offer pediatric care for families of special needs children in the southwest Las Vegas area. Their gentle methods of children’s dentistry include education for parents on the oral requirements of children with special needs. Dr. Lim emphasizes the importance of getting your child settled into a “dental home” by his or her first birthday for optimal preventive care and the start of tailored hygiene habits.
Let’s look at the specific challenges of oral health care for these kids.
A family physician may put an underweight child or one with food allergies on a diet that, as a side effect, promotes tooth decay. For example, a high calorie diet may include many carbohydrates, which demineralize teeth and turn to cavity-causing sugars. Food allergies may inhibit your child eating a naturally well-rounded diet that contributes to healthy teeth and gums.
Children often have difficulty swallowing pills, so necessary medications may come in the form of sugary flavored syrups. If taken at bedtime, they pool around teeth increasing the likelihood of decay and gum disease. Some medications cause dry mouth, which is also a factor in oral disorders.
Wheelchair bound children may not be able to see in the bathroom mirror easily, and those with strength or coordination limitations need extra help in keeping teeth clean. Dr. Lim provides coaching for caregivers on how to approach the task gently.
Special diets and medications should be continued as directed by your child’s doctor, but Dr. Lim can provide home care tips and recommend pediatric dentistry options to help prevent oral diseases. Fluoride treatments, mouth rinses, sealants, and specialized toothbrushes can go a long way toward preserving oral health.
It is as important to provide for the oral wellness of your special needs child, as it is to address medical requirements. When your child becomes a Hillside Dental patient, Dr. Lim takes time to understand his or her medical history and potential obstacles to good oral health. Call (702) 666-8584 today for an appointment.