Special Smiles, Special Care: Common Oral Health Problems in Children with Unique Needs

November 24, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — gepediatric @ 12:44 am
A special needs girl playing at the dentist after her oral health was taken care of

Every parent wants to ensure the oral health of their child. However, when it comes to children with special needs, there are unique challenges to consider. Understanding and addressing these challenges is important to provide dental care tailored to the individual needs of each child.

If you want to learn about common oral health issues that children with special needs face, continue reading. You’ll find the most common problems and strategies for managing them.

Tooth Decay and Cavities

Children with special needs may face challenges in keeping their teeth clean regularly. Whether it’s due to sensitivity, limited dexterity, or some other issue, this can make them more susceptible to tooth decay and cavities.

To combat this, you may need to help them brush their teeth. There are also special toothbrushes made for children with sensitivity or tactile concerns. Regular dental cleanings and checkups can also help them stay cavity-free!

Damaging Oral Habits

Children with special needs may experience bruxism and other oral habits like tongue thrusting. These are often linked to stress or sensory issues and can cause the gradual misalignment or fracture of their pearly whites. Your dentist can assess the impact of these habits on your child and recommend treatments and strategies to manage these conditions.


Malocclusion, or misalignment of the teeth and jaw, can be more prevalent in children with special needs. This may affect the way their teeth fit together and how they chew their food. It can also lead to discomfort in the neck and jaw. Orthodontic evaluation and treatment can help address malocclusion and enhance oral health.

Sensory Sensitivities

Children with special needs may have sensory sensitivities that affect their ability to tolerate dental procedures. Through no fault of their own, they may lash out or become aggravated by certain sights, sounds, or sensations.

It’s important to make sure that the dentist you visit is trained in treating children with special needs. They will have knowledge and techniques to create a more comfortable and positive dental experience.

Individualized care is vital for children with special needs. Each case is different, and there should be a collaborative effort between parents and dentists to address these concerns. When special care is taken with special children, it leads to happy smiles all around.  

About the Practice

Glen Ellyn Pediatric Dentistry prides itself on its relaxing atmosphere, and the team of dental specialists they’ve gathered under their roof. Your child is in good hands, no matter what their needs may be. The professionals on staff have all undergone advanced training to give excellent care. Call (630) 858-8755 to schedule an appointment or visit the website to discover other services.

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