Trying to balance all the requirements of a child with special needs is immensely challenging for a lot of parents. In most cases, dental care is usually not a top priority due to the other pressing issues that require more time and resources. However, it is immensely crucial that you keep a close eye on your child’s oral health, as poor oral hygiene has been proven to be directly linked to poor overall health outcomes as well.
In this light, besides proper oral care habits and routine checkups and cleanings with your special needs dentist here at South Miami Pediatric Dental Associates in South Miami, FL, Dr. Mario Martinez, Dr. Rebecca Lenard, or Dr. Danielle Fernandez, here are some handy tips to approach your child’s dental care.
Common Oral Health Conditions in Children with Special Needs
Genetic disorders, like Down syndrome, could result in delays, including teeth eruption. Kids with this disorder might likewise have congenitally missing or additional or malformed teeth. Misalignment and crowding, in general, could leave these kids more susceptible to decay and gum disease since their teeth are hard to clean. Also, kids with cerebral palsy or intellectual disabilities may refuse dental care or grind their teeth habitually, causing premature enamel wear and tear.
Gum disease and tooth decay could also be due to connective tissue disorders and an immunocompromised system. Further, medications for children typically contain lots of sugar, which can result in dry mouth, a risk factor for cavities. And don’t forget that these children will become adults one day, so it’s better to get start them off young with proper oral hygiene.
Working with a Special Needs Dentist in South Miami
People with special needs require oral care treatments just like everyone else. However, they’ll benefit more and be more cooperative with a dentist who’s had ample training and caters to people like them with unique challenges. When searching for a special needs dentist in South Miami, FL, you must find one who understands all the variety of challenges that special needs people face and knows how to accommodate those needs in the least stressful way possible.
Your special needs dentist could assess your kid’s specific challenges and needs to help you develop the most effective and suitable oral hygiene and treatment plan for your child. By working with a competent and experienced special needs dentist, you can implement a preventive dentistry plan to help avoid potential oral health problems, and treat existing ones before they become more difficult to manage.
Reach Out to Us to Learn More About Our Dental Services for People with Special Needs
Call (305) 666-2068 to arrange a consultation with one of our special needs dentist, Dr. Mario Martinez, Dr. Rebecca Lenard, or Dr. Danielle Fernandez, here at South Miami Pediatric Dental Associates in South Miami, FL, today.
Should my child get sedation dentistry? Is it safe?
When it comes to getting certain dental procedures, the goal of our South Miami pediatric dentists Dr. Mario Martinez, Dr. Rebecca Lenard and Dr. Danielle Fernandez is to make sure that your child feels comfortable and at ease in the dental chair; however, we also know that having to undergo certain procedures can make kids nervous. That’s why we also offer sedation dentistry, a safe and effective way to help take the edge off the next time you child needs a filling, root canal or other dental procedure.
Types of Sedation Dentistry
The three most common types of sedation dentistry that we offer here in our South Miami pediatric dentistry practice are oral sedation, inhalation sedation and IV sedation. The type of sedation that is ideal for your child will depend on the level of anxiety they are experiencing as well as the type of procedure they are undergoing. Oral sedation may take 20-30 minutes to kick in but can last for hours. Our dentist can also alter the dosage of oral sedation to provide everything from mild or strong sedative effects.
Inhalation sedation, also known as nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) is another way to help keep kids relaxed. A mask is placed over the nose to deliver laughing gas to our little patient. Results are usually felt in just five minutes. Once the procedure is complete and the mask is removed the effects of this sedation quickly go away.
IV sedation is typically used in more serious dental procedures such as removing wisdom teeth or performing jaw surgery. This type of sedation is administered through an IV in the child’s vein, and it will put the patient to sleep throughout the procedure.
When Sedation is Used
While sedation dentistry is often used to keep kids feeling calm and relaxed during a dental procedure it can also be used,
- To make children more comfortable, especially children dealing with musculoskeletal disorders and conditions that may make it more difficult to sit in one position for long periods of time
- To calm children with special needs and sensitive gag reflexes
- To improve the speed and efficiency of the surgery or dental procedures since distractions due to fear, anxiety or agitation are eliminated
- When a child requires multiple procedures at once or has to undergo a long procedure
If your child has an upcoming dental procedure that has them feeling nervous then you may want to talk with our South Miami dental team about whether sedation dentistry is right for them. Call South Miami Pediatric Dental Assoc at (305) 666-2068 to schedule a consultation or to ask about sedation dentistry for your child.
Hospital dentistry may offer a good solution if your child needs extensive dental treatment, has difficulty sitting still, or has special needs. Here at South Miami Pediatric Dental Associates in South Miami, FL, your pediatric dentists, Drs. Mario Martinez and Rebecca Lenard can help you decide if hospital dentistry is right for your child.
How Does Hospital Dentistry Work?
Dental treatments are performed in the hospital while your child is sedated with general anesthesia or another type of anesthesia.
When Is Hospital Dentistry Recommended?
You and your child's dentist will decide if hospital dentistry is the best option during your visit to the South Miami dental office. Hospital dentistry may be a good option if:
- Your Child Needs Multiple Dental Procedures: Young children may find it difficult to handle several appointments that involve lengthy dental procedures. Thanks to hospital dentistry, all of the treatments your child needs can be done at the same time.
- Your Son or Daughter is Uncooperative: If lack of cooperation is an issue, your child's dentist may suggest hospital dentistry.
- Gagging is a Problem: Traditional dental treatment may be impossible if your son or daughter has a highly sensitive gag reflex.
- Your Child is Extremely Fearful: Dental treatments can be very stressful if your child has a dental phobia. When your child is sedated during treatments, he or she won't remember anything about the procedure.
- Your Son or Daughter Needs a Root Canal or Another Complicated Procedure: Many children can only stand so much time in the dental chair. If a complicated procedure takes longer than your child can tolerate, hospital dentistry may be the best choice.
- Allergies Prevent the Use of Local Anesthetic: If your child has had a reaction to local anesthetic in the past, their dentist may recommend a trip to the hospital for dental treatment.
- Your Son or Daughter Has Special Needs: Your child may benefit from hospital dentistry if he or she has certain diseases or conditions. These may include autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, mobility impairments and other health or behavioral issues.
Hospital dentistry can help your child receive the dental care that they need. Call your pediatric dentists in South Miami, FL, Drs. Martinez and Lenard of South Miami Pediatric Dental Associates, at (305) 666-2068 to schedule your son or daughter's appointment.
These everyday habits could improve your child's oral health.
The key to maintaining healthy smiles in your children is to teach them good oral hygiene practices while they are young. After all, these habits will carry with them throughout childhood and into adulthood. Our South Miami, FL, board-certified pediatric dentists, Dr. Mario Martinez and Dr. Rebecca Lenard, know that it will be easier to get your child to brush and floss if you make it more interactive and fun.
Here are some tips to keep your child’s smile healthy:
Make sure they are drinking water
Many kids simply don't drink enough water! If you want to support healthy teeth and gums, you’ll want to keep your child hydrated. A rule of thumb is to make sure your child is drinking as many 8-ounce glasses of water a day as their age. For example, if your child is five years old, they should be drinking five, 8-ounce glasses of water daily. Active children may also require more water. Drinking water is chock full of fluoride, which can also keep teeth strong and prevent cavities from forming.
Brush twice a day
Make sure that you are brushing your child’s teeth at least twice a day, for a minimum of two minutes each time. In the beginning, you’re going to have to brush their teeth for them until they are able to do this themselves; however, you can also use this time to educate them on proper brushing techniques, so that when it comes time for them to brush their own teeth, they already well equipped for the task. If you have questions about how to brush your child’s teeth or the right tools for the job, don’t hesitate to ask your South Miami, FL, Pediatric dentist.
Snack in moderation
It is important that your child is receiving all the vital nutrients they need to grow healthy and strong. Of course, snacking too much throughout the day can increase plaque buildup, which can also increase your child’s risk for cavities. Therefore, limit snacking to 2-3 times a day, and avoid sugar-laden, processed snacks like gummy bears and potato chips. Instead, opt for smile-friendly choices such as apples, hummus, yogurt, and raw veggies.
Visit the dentist
While our South Miami, FL, practice is temporarily closed due to coronavirus, our pediatricians can still provide emergency care for children dealing with serious and urgent matters. Just call South Miami Pediatric Dental Associates at (305) 666-2068. Keep practicing these oral hygiene habits together as a family to keep dental problems at bay.
Does your child fear visiting the dentist? Find out how sedation dentistry could make it so much easier.
Does your child have a bit of difficulty during their dental visits? Here at the Miami office of dentists Dr. Mario Martinez and Dr. Rebecca Lenard, we offer sedation dentistry to children who are nervous about these appointments.
Read on to learn how sedation dentistry can make it easy for children of all ages to feel more at ease and receive more efficient care.
What is sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is one way that our South Miami family dentists are able to help children of all ages feel more comfortable when receiving dental care. Sedation dentistry won’t put your child to sleep, but it will help them feel more relaxed during their visit. In some cases, children may even fall asleep during their procedure. The most common types of sedation dentistry include:
- Oral medication: This anti-anxiety pill is given to your child about 30 minutes to one hour before their procedure. This medication will help them feel more relaxed and calm throughout the procedure; however, the medication’s effects can last several hours.
- Nitrous oxide: Also referred to as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is an easy way to help kids feel more calm and collected. Nitrous oxide will be administered to your child throughout their procedure. Once the procedure is over, the mask is removed and the effects of this type of sedation will wear off quickly.
For surgery and more intensive procedures we also offer intravenous (IV) sedation.
What are the benefits of sedation dentistry?
As you might imagine, making a trip to the dentist an easy one for your child offers tons of benefits for you, your little one and even your dentist. Some of these benefits include:
- A relaxed, easier, and stress-free dental procedure for your child.
- Your child is able to receive the dental care and treatment they need for a healthy smile.
- Providing a physically more comfortable setting for children with special needs and physical limitations (sedation dentistry can also reduce muscle pain, stiffness, and other issues associated with lying in a dental chair).
- Experiencing a faster and more efficient dental procedure since your dentist may be able to accomplish more while your child is relaxed. This could result in fewer trips to the dentist’s office and less work needed.
Interested? Give us a call
Interested in learning more about pediatric sedation dentistry and how our South Miami general dentist could make your child’s next dental procedure or cleaning a breeze? If so, call South Miami Pediatric Dental Associates at (305) 666-2068.
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