The Challenges of Dental Care and Hygiene For Autistic Children
Dental care is a necessary preventative health care measure. Families with children of all ages do their best to bring their children to a local dentist, like Alabama Family Dentistry, to help promote proper dental health. However, children with certain medical and mental conditions can pose a logistical problem for families trying to bring them to the dentist. One medical condition that concerns parents the most is autism and how to balance their child’s dental health with their condition. Here are things to consider if you are a parent with a child with autism.
No Need For Extra Care
Generaaly, children who are autistic do not have any dental hygienic issues that differ from the general population. Unlike other medical and mental conditions where the child may have unusual body movements that could damage teeth, autistic children usually do not suffer from such medical symptoms that could harm their teeth. Therefore, extra dental care is not necessary for an autistic child. This does not mean autistic children do not commit actions or have behavioral issues that could cause damage to their teeth, but that the medical condition itself does not increase the likelihood of dental issues that differ from the general population.
Communication and Behavioral Issues
Autistic children, when they are brought to an office like the Alabama Family Dentistry, will face some communication and behavioral issues. For example, the child may have a difficult time answering the questions of a dentist or responding to requests, such as opening their mouth wider. Parents are recommended to be in the room to help the child during the dental session.
In addition, some behaviors by autistic children can directly damage teeth. Although no two autistic children are alike, some autistic children have been known to pick their gums, clench their teeth, and even eat hard objects and food. Parents will have to monitor these issues and help to create an environment where the child is not stressed, they do not consume too much surgery or hard foods, and that the child is not self-inflicting damage onto their teeth or gums.
More At Home Issues
Autistic children do not regulate habits without proper reminders. For example, brushing one’s teeth twice a day has to be told to the autistic child or the child will simply forget. This is probably one of the most difficult aspects of autism and dental care: constant monitoring of dental hygiene. Parents should work with the staff at the Alabama Family Dentistry to create a proper hygiene plan that the parents can instill and monitor on their autistic child. That way, the child will have reduced dental issues with their gums or teeth health.
Conclusion: Be Vigilant and Know Dental Hygiene Is Possible
Parents do not have to think that their autistic child cannot have proper dental hygiene. With the help of dentists, parents can instill proper dental hygiene and care to their autistic child so they will not have an increased risk of periodontal disease.