Dental hygiene is necessary for everybody. However, disabled children may require extra work or special care to help them maintain good oral hygiene and health. There are several reasons for this as discussed below:
Other Health Issues May Outweigh Oral Health
If you have a disabled child, then you should be careful not to place too much emphasis on their disability at the expense of their other needs such as oral hygiene. If you do that, then you may end up taking care of the disabilities, but ruining their health.
For example, if the child has hearing disabilities, then you may be concerned with getting them the best hearing aids, making sure the aids are always charged, and teaching the kid how to use them. This is good, but it is equally important to give the child a good toothbrush, teach them how to brush and ensure that they floss daily.
Effect of Medications
Some medicines have a significant effect on oral health. Depending on the child's disabilities, they may be taking some of these medications. The effect of drugs on oral health comes in various ways such as:
Some disabilities are also managed by dietary restrictions. Therefore, the child may be barred from eating certain foods or advised to take them in moderate amounts. This may be due to existing physical disabilities or because of the drugs the child may be taking. The restrictions may affect the kid's oral health since they may not be getting all the nutrients they need. This may lead to compromised immunity, which leads to increased susceptibility to bacterial attack (including oral bacteria).
Lastly, the child's disabilities may also prevent them from brushing their teeth without help. For example, a child who uses the wheelchair may find it difficult to use bathroom facilities if the house isn't designed for such things. Some children also have dexterity problems, which mean they find it difficult to brush or floss. If there is no helper to assist such children on a regular basis, then their oral health may suffer.
As you can see, it's essential to go the extra mile to ensure that a child with special needs gets adequate oral hygiene care. Make sure that your children brush and floss daily, and you may even have to help them with these oral hygiene processes. For more information, contact a dentist.
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