Dental care can be a challenge for parents of kids with special needs. Children with cerebral palsy, autism, and Down syndrome are also at a higher risk of having issues with tooth decay, dental pain, and dental misalignment.
If you’re the parent or caregiver of a child with special needs, make dental hygiene an everyday, familiar part of your child’s life. The following four tips will set you and your child on the path to good oral health.
- Establish Positive Oral Hygiene Habits in Infancy
Children look to adults for validation of what’s normal and what’s not. When you establish oral care routines starting on the day your baby comes home from the hospital, your child becomes accustomed to the routine of having the mouth cleaned twice a day.
You don’t need a toothbrush to start a baby off on a lifetime of responsible dental hygiene. A clean, soft washcloth is all you need. Don’t use washcloths tumbled dry with dryer sheets or laundered with scented detergents, as the perfume-tainted cloth may make your baby gag.