Pediatric Dentists for Special Needs Children
As a parent of a special needs child, finding a dentist who can make your child feel comfortable is invaluable. Kool Smiles Kids Club has partnered with dentists across the country who are specially trained to work with children, including those with special needs.
Our Partner Dentists Make Special Needs Children Feel at Home
Kool Smiles’ partner dentists are kind, caring, and patient. They recognize that children need a little extra reassurance, and they’re happy to go above and beyond to make sure that all patients, regardless of their needs, receive the high-quality care they deserve.
Kool Smiles Kids Club’s partners use the “teach, show, do” method. Much of the fear associated with going to the dentist is fear of the unknown. Our partners eliminate that fear by explaining and demonstrating everything that’s going to happen – before it happens.
At Kool Smiles, we understand that you, the parent, are your child’s rock. Separating a child from his or her loved one during a dentist appointment is a sure way to elevate anxiety levels. Our partner dentists will make sure you’re always nearby to offer support.
Why Routine Dental Care Is Important
Attending regular checkups is the most effective way to keep your child’s teeth and mouth healthy. When a dentist sees your child regularly, they’re better able to:
- Combat tooth decay and gum disease. Professional cleaning removes built-up plaque and tartar that, when neglected, can lead to decay, cavities, and gum disease.
- Take care of cavities and tooth decay. Cavities and tooth decay only get worse with time. It’s best to catch them early to stop the spread.
- Check for signs of disease or infection. Diseases and infections don’t always have obvious symptoms. A dentist is trained to identify subtle signs and changes.
- Remove teeth that are fine now, but that may cause problems in the future. You can’t predict the future, but when it comes to your child’s teeth, a dentist may be able to. Dentists can detect issues with stubborn baby teeth that are impeding permanent teeth and require removal.
- Monitor growth and development. No one understands oral health and milestones better than a dentist. A dentist can catch abnormalities and orthodontic issues early. If the jaw, mouth, and teeth aren’t developing properly, a dentist will identify the cause and recommend an appropriate treatment.
Maintaining Your Child’s Oral Hygiene at Home
Healthy teeth start at home. Here are some tips for keeping your child’s teeth in tip-top shape between checkups:
- Use a fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride strengthens enamel and protects against tooth decay. Make sure your child doesn’t swallow while they’re brushing, though, as fluoride can cause an upset stomach.
- Brush regularly. Have your child brush at least twice a day or after every meal.
- Floss daily. As soon as your child has two teeth that touch, you’ll need to start flossing. Once they’re old enough to floss on their own, encourage your child to floss once a day.
- Don’t rinse or swoosh water immediately after brushing. Fluoride from the toothpaste is more effective if it’s not rinsed off right away.
- Keep toothbrushes fresh. A toothbrush needs replacing every three to four months.
- Use a mouthguard for sports. Accidents happen. Minimize the risk of tooth damage by encouraging your child to wear a mouthguard while playing sports.
- Maintain a healthy diet. Your child needs to eat a healthy, balanced diet to support all the growth and development that happens during childhood.
How to Get Your Child to Like Dental Care
Children don’t typically appreciate the importance of good oral hygiene habits, so it’s essential you keep them interested somehow. We recommend making dental care fun for your child, by:
- Letting them choose their own toothpaste and toothbrush. It doesn’t take much to pique a child’s interest. Prop your child in front of the toothpaste at your local supermarket and let them pick whichever type appeals to them (as long as it has fluoride). Repeat in the toothbrush section. (We’re especially fond of kid-specific toothbrushes with glitter, cartoon characters, or pre-recorded songs.)
- Reward good habits. Again, children don’t really appreciate that the reward of good oral hygiene is healthy teeth. They do, on the other hand, appreciate instant rewards, like stickers and fun (but healthy) treats.
- Make oral hygiene a family thing. Children generally enjoy group activities more than solo ones. When it’s time to brush, do it together. When you brush together, you get to keep an eye on your child’s technique without making them feel less independent.
- Use fun teaching tools. Books, videos, and coloring pages can help boost your child’s interest in dental health.
- Make visiting the dentist a special occasion. Instead of jumping back into your routine immediately after a checkup, consider doing something fun, like catching a movie or going for frozen yogurt.
Payment Options for Pediatric Dentists for Special Needs Children
Kool Smiles Kids Club has partner dentists who accept a broad range of payment types:
- CareCredit – a credit card designed specifically for health and dental care needs. Finance your child’s dental care and choose a repayment term that works for you.
- Medicaid – a joint state and federal program that provides dental coverage for children from limited-income families.
- TRICARE – a program that provides dental coverage for military retirees, service members, and their families.
- CHIP – Formerly SCHIP, this program helps limited-income families pay for pediatric dental care services when their income is too high for Medicaid eligibility but too low to pay for the cost of dental treatments.
- Cash and credit card – for families who want to pay out-of-pocket.
- Private dental insurance – our partners accept most insurance plans.
Bring Your Special Needs Child to a Kool Smiles Kids Club Partner Dentist Today
Kool Smiles’ partner dentists are happy to welcome all children to their clinics. With cheerful spaces, friendly staff, and plenty of kid-specific tricks up their sleeves, our partner dentists aim to ensure every child leaves the clinic feeling like an all-star and looking forward to their next visit.
Mouth Healthy: https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/f/fluoride
American Dental Association: https://www.ada.org/en/about-the-ada/ada-positions-policies-and-statements/statement-on-toothbrush-care-cleaning-storage-and-
Family Doctor: https://familydoctor.org/dental-hygiene-how-to-care-for-your-childs-teeth/
Care Credit: https://www.carecredit.com/faqs/
News Medical: https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-SCHIP.aspx