For parents and carers of children with additional needs accessing the right dental care at the right time is especially important.
Children and young people with additional needs have the same entitlement to dental care as all children and services should make adjustments to achieve this where possible.
In some cases specialist dental care will be the most appropriate and your Dentist or GP should help you to find the right service for your child.
Having an additional need can make dental care particularly important and also more tricky.
This can be because;
• Anxiety may make it very stressful going to the dentist
• They may struggle to cooperate with instructions from the dentist
• They may be taking medicines that contain sugar, which can cause tooth decay
• Medicines can cause a dry mouth, which can put the teeth at risk of decay
• They may find it hard to tolerate having a toothbrush in their mouth
• They may have a sensitive gag/choking reflex
• Some children may tend to keep food in their mouth for a long time.
• Difficulty in clearing leftover food from around their teeth and gums
• Having a strong preference for sweet food and drinks, or food of a particular colour or texture, and will eat little else
• Dribbling can cause sore skin and mouth infections
• Children with gastric reflux produce acid that can cause decay
It may be one of these reasons or a number of other that make it hard for your child to access dental care.
Health services recognise this and should support your child to get the care they need