Preparing for Your Child with Special Needs for a Visit to Happy Kids Dental

At Happy Kids Dental we have 6 dentists in our team who specialise in delivering care to special needs patients - we make sure that your child feels as comfortable as possible. In our Chelsea location - Dr. Jasleen, Dr. Khushbu and Dr. Dania. In Marylebone - Dr. Michelle, Dr. Tania and Dr. Amrita.

  • We send our tailored questionnaire ahead of time to know your child's likes / dislikes, we encourage you to visit us on another occasion before your actual appointment and we have carefully designed sensory rooms for children with complex needs.
  • Providing us with information about a child with special needs prior to the first visit is crucial to visit success; please answer questions about your child in great detail - this is the perfect time to ask questions, voice concerns and make sure that both parties are on the same page.
  • Stay positive and help your child prepare for their visit; read through all the information we send in advance of the appointment. This will help set the expectation of what is to come. We send across a visual guide for the visit that most parents find useful and reassuring.
  • As specialist paediatric practice we have an array of resources available to us starting with distraction techniques in the surgery to sensory environments, fidget toys and weighted blankets to help your child relax.
  • We have hospital grade sedation equipment installed to ensure we can help your child calm themselves for their appointment.
  • All of our clinical staff are fully trained in behaviour management techniques and receive routine refresher courses including play therapy to ensure we are best prepared for children with complex needs.

Children with special needs face unique challenges in their lives relating to their physical, mental & oral health

Unfortunately special needs children are more likely to have unmet dental problems than other children. This may be due to symptoms of their health condition, diet, oral sensitivity, or trouble eating.

Often, dental care is put last on the list of priorities because regular oral hygiene practices and visits to the dentist can be very difficult for the child and their family

Here are a few common dental concerns that can lead to complications of a child’s oral health:

Dr. Khushbu talks about special needs visits

Our Chelsea Location

Our Marylebone Location

Common Dental Concerns

  • GERD (Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease): GERD can cause a child’s mouth to be acidic, and as a result, can wear down the teeth. We may prescribe pastes to help prevent teeth damage from the acid or an antacid if they are experiencing other physical symptoms.
  • Food Pouching: Some children will hold food in their mouth or cheeks much longer than usual (also known as, food pouching). This creates an environment for bacteria that cause cavities to grow.
  • Grinding (bruxism): Children may grind their teeth while sleeping or during the day. Over time, grinding can damage teeth. This is common and most children outgrow the habit. Treatments are available if it becomes a problem.
  • Bad breath (halitosis): Some digestive problems, chronic sinusitis, diabetes, certain medications, and other medical issues can lead to bad breath.
  • Dry mouth (xerostomia): May be a result of a child’s special needs condition or from medication. This can affect nutrition and can lead to tooth decay, gum disease and mouth infections.
  • Delay in first teeth coming in: Also known as tooth eruption. This condition largely depends on genetics, growth of the jaw, muscular action, and other factors. Children with down syndrome may show delays of up to 2 years. Offer information about the variability in tooth eruption patterns and refer to your child’s physician or dentist for additional questions.
  • Medicine that may affect teeth and gums: Liquid syrups and medicines with sugar can cause cavities. Other medicines can cause dry mouth and reduce how much saliva (spit) a child makes. These may include: antihistamines, antacid medicine, sedatives, and muscle relaxers. Some seizure medicines may cause enlarged gums, causing them to bleed. Help reduce the impact of medicine by rinsing or gently wiping your child’s mouth with water after each dose.