August 22, 2018

Girl with Special Needs Sister Holding Balloon and SmilingSpecial needs dental care is something that many traditional Orange County dental offices aren’t well equipped to provide. With patients with special needs having varying abilities and emotional triggers that may cause fear or anxiety, including bright lighting, interactions with unfamiliar strangers or even loud noises from in-office televisions, often a dentist’s office isn’t the best setting for your loved one to receive his or her much needed dental care. At In Motion Dentists, we believe that everyone deserves proper and thorough dental care, which is why our dentist Dr. Banner visits special needs patients throughout the Southland in the comfort of their own home every day to provide them with loving and caring special needs dental care.

Even if it isn’t quite time for your loved one with special needs to have a regular biannual cleaning or check-up, you likely have questions on how you – as a parent and caregiver – can provide proper daily oral hygiene to that person who means so much to you. Here are some tips from Dr. Banner on how to avoid dental problems in Orange County patients with special needs.

  • Practice proper oral hygiene daily by brushing teeth twice a day, flossing once a day, and if possible, using an antiseptic mouthwash at least once a day. Dr. Banner knows that these tasks may be more easily said than done depending on your loved one’s capabilities and comfort level with special needs dental care. He recommends that you set up a routine so that your loved one performs these tasks when he or she is well rested and alert, that these tasks become part of a normal and stable routine, and that you praise your loved one for his or her efforts. If the family member you care for isn’t capable of performing these tasks by his or herself, then make sure to move calmly and gently as you perform these oral hygiene tasks, and communicate positively throughout the experience.
  • Make sure you choose a toothbrush that is right for your loved one’s abilities and sensitivities. Dr. Banner typically recommends you select a toothbrush with a small to medium head and soft to medium bristles. If your family member is able to brush his or her own teeth, then special handgrips or other toothbrush adaptations may make brushing more comfortable to perform. Additionally, you may want to consider an electric toothbrush for individuals who experience mobility challenges.
  • Keep regular dental visits simple by scheduling in-home cleanings. Trips to the dentist can be challenging if you have a loved one with special needs who requires assistive technology or medical equipment to travel with him or her. Having a mobile dentist like Dr. Banner in the Orange County area can take the stress out of routine dental visits. Just make sure that you communicate to our staff all medical, physical and emotional limitations, as well as all medications that your family member takes so he can be best prepared to provide them with the special needs dental care they deserve.
  • Consider sedation dentistry. If your loved one has a fear of strangers, medical or dental procedures, sedation dentistry could help keep them relaxed and calm even through simple procedures like regular teeth cleanings. Sometimes, sedation dentistry is in the best interest of your loved one’s emotional well being, and so long as it doesn’t interfere with life-sustaining medical equipment or medications, Dr. Banner is well trained at administering sedation dentistry in an in-home setting.

Call Our Special Needs Dental Care Team with Any Questions

If you’re wondering how to provide dental care to your loved one with special needs, we’re happy to assist. Call of office today in the Orange County area at (626) 594-0374.