Children from various backgrounds often share a common aversion to dental care, making it challenging for parents to get their children to brush their teeth before bed. This task becomes even more demanding for parents of children with special needs.

Children with special needs face distinct challenges when it comes to oral health. These challenges may arise from oral sensitivity, the necessity of taking sugar-containing medications, symptoms of their condition, difficulties with eating, or dietary restrictions.

Several developmental issues can make everyday dental care for children problematic
  • Autism
  • Depression
  • Down syndrome
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Seizures
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Visual and hearing impairments
Their condition can have an impact on:
  • The development of teeth and oral structures.
  • How enamel forms and where calcium is deposited.
  • The quantity of saliva in your child's mouth, which is crucial for protecting teeth and removing food particles.
  • The variety and frequency of foods your child consumes. A diet consisting mainly of soft foods and liquids may not provide the necessary stimulation for gums, teeth, and oral muscles. Children with G-tubes may be more prone to tartar buildup and cavities, emphasizing the importance of thorough oral hygiene.
What are the Common Dental Concerns for Children with Special Needs?

  • Tooth Eruption Irregularities: Children usually begin teething around 6-12 months, with the full set of teeth typically appearing by age 3. This process depends on factors like jaw development and genetics. Growth disturbances can accelerate, delay, or cause inconsistent tooth growth. For example, Down syndrome may delay tooth eruption by up to two years.
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): GERD causes a high level of acidity in the mouth, which can lead to tooth erosion. Dentists can prescribe pastes to help manage this condition. Additionally, antacids may be recommended if other physical symptoms are present.
  • Grinding (Bruxism): Bruxism, or the grinding and gnashing of teeth, can occur during the day or while sleeping, potentially damaging teeth. This is common in children with severe intellectual disabilities or those with cerebral palsy.
  • Teeth Anomalies: Conditions such as Down syndrome can cause irregularities in tooth development, manifesting as unusual shapes, sizes, or numbers of teeth.
  • Malocclusion: Children with developmental disabilities often experience malocclusion, where the upper and lower teeth don't align properly. Muscle dysfunction in
  • Medication Issues: Managing special needs often involves taking frequent medications, some of which contain sugar and may lead to dry mouth, tooth decay, and gum overgrowth.
  • Cavities and Gum Disease: Conditions associated with special needs can weaken the immune system. Combined with connective tissue disorders, this can lead to tooth decay and gum infections.
Dental Care Tips Children With Special Needs

Even though your child may resist and may not enjoy it, it's crucial to introduce them to the concept of oral hygiene as early as possible. Starting early will help them adopt and incorporate it into their daily routine.

Begin dental hygiene practices before the first tooth appears. Use a damp gauze pad to wipe your child’s gums. Once teeth start to emerge, consult your pediatrician about the appropriate amount of fluoride toothpaste to use. Utilize a soft toothbrush and brush your child’s teeth twice daily, and make sure to floss every day.

Patience is key when laying the foundation for proper oral care. Your child may have sensory challenges, especially if they have autism. Focus on making them comfortable with the process rather than solely on brushing their teeth. Although it can seem difficult, it is often more stressful for them. Break the process down into smaller steps to make it easier for both of you.

Instead of immediately putting the toothbrush in their mouth, start by gently rubbing it against their cheek. Gradually move towards their mouth, and begin brushing only when they appear comfortable.

Try these tips to make the process smoother:

  • Apply a very thin layer of toothpaste.
  • Rinse your child’s mouth with water after meals, snacks, or medication, especially when you’re out of the house.
  • Brush in areas of the house where your child feels comfortable, such as their bedroom.
  • Use distractions to divert their attention from their teeth. For example, give them something to hold or ask them to brush your teeth while you brush theirs.
  • Have your child lie down on a bed, sofa, or your lap while you brush their teeth. This helps them stay still and keep their mouth open.
  • If your child is sensitive to toothpaste, dip the toothbrush in a fluoride mouth rinse instead.
  • Seek professional assistance to help reduce sensitivity.
  • Use a cloth to wipe your child’s mouth if they cannot spit.


Radhika Kewalramani

Best clinic for kids. Highly recommended. Took my 10month old baby for his first dental visit. He had teething issues and since we were on a short trip from dubai, my friend suggested to meet dr Revathi for quick check up. And Dr Revathi is such a sweet angel, couldn't have asked for a better pediatric dentist. My son had lots of fun, and she checked him while playing with him. No pain, no screams,,, only smiles. We are in awe of Dr Revathi and highly recommend her.

Eedara Tejaswini

I have visited Dr Revathi for my child dental issues. He is 4.5 years old and he has not cooperated for treatment. But still Dr Revathi with lot of patience treated him. She did root canal for him and I will recommend Dr Revathi for any kind of kids dental issues


I had visited Dentitia multispeciality dental clinic to get my teeth implants done, I had pleasant experience with the team and am very happy with the outcome, previously I used to fear a lot listening to the friends, they said screws inside the mouth would be painful but after getting implants inside the mouth, I feel very comfortable to chew my food now, I highly recommend Dentitia clinic for teeth implants.


I had fractured tooth which was RCT treated and was covered with the crown, then my freind suggested dr revathi and I met the doctor and was very convinced with her explanation and the treatment plan, she explained the cause and consequences and removed the fractured tooth and suggested implant for the missing tooth, I travelled from kanakpura to HSR to get my tooth implant and it’s all worth it, I sincerely thank dr revathi and her team and highly recommend them.

Tejaswini Saunshi

It was great experience to get treatment from Dr. Revathi! It was very hygienic n clean set up overall, I liked the volume of care provided in the clinic. My kids too loved it! We had a hassle free treatment experience with kids 😊.

Padam Agrawal

Dr.Revathi one of the best doctor. She handle kids very nicely, and gives best treatment. Perfectly did root canal for my son 👍 Highly recommend!!! …

Archana M

I have been visiting Dr Revathy for my dental issues since few years... Finest dental procedures are done here with utmost care. I recommend the doctor👍

Siddharth Jain

Very good centre- keeps constant follow ups and is well equipped. Dr. Revathi is extremely patient and reassuring and Dr. Kaustubh (surgeon) is very skilled and quick. Overall great first dental experience, would definitely recommend.

rupali athawale

Best dental clinic in Pimpri having lovely ambience and a team of skilled doctors. Dr Pallavi and Dr Avishkar both are expertise in their respective fields. Do visit if you have any dental issues, dental trauma, or nerve/ brain related issues. Highly Recommended!

Deepthi Dandu

I visited Dentitia multispeciality dental clinic to correct my teeth alignment. I was provided variety of treatment options from Dr Revathi ,wherein I couldn't select the appropriate treatment so I was consulted by orthodontist of Dentitia team and she suggested Invisalign, I spontaneously opted it and started the orthodontic treatment. Thanks to Dentitia team for introducing me with Invisalign which retained my confidence in smile

jeevanm aws

"Dr. Revathi at Dentitia Dental Clinic is fantastic! Gentle cleaning, seamless filling, and great emphasis on educating on your current and upcoming tooth issues. They don't just fix your teeth; they teach you how to keep them healthy. A visit here is more than a checkup" Highly Recommended !!

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