Special needs children require a dentist who is trained and educated to deal with them. Many of these patients have other dental concerns that may actually take precedence over the basic line of care that dental professionals extend to children on a regular basis. In spite of this, it is also vital that even the basics are upheld when it comes to caring for the oral cavities of kids with special needs.
The basic structure of the oral cavity is something that can be compromised when it comes to special kids. Their own dentists should look to maintain the basic structure of their oral cavities in order for them to be able to function well in this aspect. Many of the children have issues with regards to how they eat, what they eat and what they put in their mouths. Keeping their mouths and teeth in good shape will help to reduce the risk of other conditions that can be very common for children who need extra care and medical attention. The maintenance of good hygiene of the oral cavity is something that will help prevent further complication in this area. Children with harelips and other oral problems will benefit from the right maintenance and hygiene, while they are being evaluated and assessed by other medical professionals for other medical reasons.
A dentist can also encourage the kids to get used to the routines that are needed to maintain good oral health. Many special children are not open to other people putting anything into their mouths, so as infants they should get used to the idea of their parents cleaning their teeth and oral cavities for them. Establishing an early routine, such as cleaning the teeth after meals, can help them feel more stable and in control of themselves. As younger children, they will be used to the cleaning routine and may even look forward to it or become adept at doing it themselves. A visit to the dentist as early as infancy can help parents to establish routines and other ways to help their children maintain oral health. It takes patience and understanding to do the cleaning and to teach the child to do it on his or her own.
Another routine that special needs kids must be open to is to floss in between teeth. No matter the state of the oral cavity, when a child eats, some bits and pieces are likely to be stuck in between the each tooth. Flossing can help minimize the risk of decay appearing in between each tooth if it is done regularly. Parents can do this when their children are still too young to handle the floss or may not be able to handle it at all. Rinsing the oral cavity after eating and drinking vitamins and medicines is also something that these children should be able to do. The dentist highly encourages parents to try to get their children to at least rinse their mouths regularly after consuming meals and after taking in sugary medicines, supplements or drinks.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7176502
By Antoinette Ayana
- Dental X-rays (topdentists.com)
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- Common Oral Health Questions Answered (belmarrahealth.com)
Feeding a baby just starting out on solid foods is not just your job; your child has a major role in this as well. Feeding will be easier, more interesting and more nutritionally and emotionally satisfying if you follow your baby’s lead. Don’t worry about them needing to eat a certain amount of a certain food at a certain time of day. By carefully observing your child you will soon become quite good at realizing when they are hungry and when they have had enough to eat. New eaters won’t eat much at first as they are becoming accustomed to new textures and tastes. Most of their nutritional needs are still being met from breast milk or formula. Closer to 1 year of age your baby’s solid food intake will expand in quantity and variety. Then their nutritional needs can be met by the solid foods. Use the list below to keep feeding focused on your baby’s needs, not yours. Mindfully observe your child, let them do their jobs and you do yours.
- Choose appropriately textured foods
- Choose 1-2 foods, if rejected- meal is over
- Baby strapped in high chair
- (Hold baby in lap for beginner eaters)
- Keep baby upright to avoid choking
- Have baby face forward, looking at you
- Talk calmly to baby, don’t entertain
- No toys, TV, games
- Allow baby to explore food
- Use spoon or let baby self feed, or both
- Follow baby’s lead for hunger and satiety
- Follow baby’s lead for tempo of eating
- How much to eat, by signaling fullness
- Whether they eat or not, whether they open their mouth or not
- Paying attention to each spoonful
- Touching food in dish or spoon
- Set tempo for feeding
- Self feed if they want, with which ever hand or both
How Often to Feed
- Offer solids once per day until 2 tablespoons is consumed, then increase to two feedings per day
- When that feeding reaches 2 tablespoons, add another feeding
- Continue until you are feeding 4-6 times a day
- Formula or breast milk can be fed with or separate from solids
- Where to Feed
- At the table and in a baby safe chair
- In an adult’s lap
- Never feed in a reclining position
- Watch your baby carefully the next time you feed them or share a meal
The newest solid food eaters are usually willing to let a parent feed them, but many want to touch the food and/or spoon before it gets to their mouth. This being impolite behavior for an adult, we stop this action. But remember that this whole experience, sitting in a chair, having a spoon move toward your mouth, having something solid in your mouth, and having new taste is all novel.
Of course babies want to examine the food before they let it in. So let your baby check out the situation. Let them know that now they will be eating in a chair just for them. Show them the spoon, without food, let them mouth it. Then tell them that you are helping them learn to eat. Try not to push their inquisitive hands back to their laps. Put some food on their tray and let them explore. While this is happening, offer a small spoon of food by putting the food up to their mouth. If they are ready, they will open their mouth. Their table manners will conform to societal norms as their coordination develops and they start to observe others eat.
Each baby experiences foods in their own way. Some babies will grimace, some will smile, and others will look surprised or excited. However your baby reacts, don’t read meaning into it. When your baby is done chewing, offer another bite. Keep this up until they show you that they are done exploring and eating. As your baby becomes accustomed to foods, they will not need to explore as much. But they will probably still want to use their hands, and/or try to use the spoon to self feed. They want to do it themselves and are very proud of this accomplishment. So your job is to sit back, smile and let them know, “I see you can feed yourself.”
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7044863
By Beverly Pressey