Download Caregivers Guide to Good Oral Health for Persons with Special Needs PDF

TitleCaregivers Guide to Good Oral Health for Persons with Special Needs
File Size243.7 KB
Total Pages21
Document Text Contents
Page 1

Steven P. Perlman, DDS, MscD
Clive Friedman, DDS
Sanford J Fenton, DDS, MDS

A Caregivers Guide to Good Oral Health
for Persons with Special Needs

Page 2

A Guide to Good Oral Health for Persons with Special Needs

Introduction 1
You’re Not Healthy without Good Oral Health 1

Creating a Personal Oral Hygiene Program 2
Patient Skills Evaluation Checklist 2
Oral Hygine Checklist 4

Good Oral Hygiene...Step by Step 5
Brushing…Step by Step 5
Rinsing…Step by Step 6
Flossing…Step by Step 7

Adapting a Toothbrush 9

Different Positions for Brushing 11
In a Wheelchair 11
Sitting on the Floor 12
On a Bed or a Sofa 12
In a Beanbag Chair 13
Lying on the Floor 13

Some Common Dental Problems 14

Oral Health Considerations during
Growth & Development of a Child 18

SpecialwthankswtowAnnwS.wSmith,wDDS,wBSNwandwH.wBarry Waldman,wDDS,

Smilesw andw Bostonw Universityw withw anw unrestrictedw grantw fromw Colgate


© Special Olympics, Inc., 2008.
All rights reserved.

Page 10

A Guide to Good Oral Health for Persons with Special Needs


© Special Olympics, Inc., 2008.
All rights reserved.

3. Curve the floss into a C-shape around
the tooth. Slide it up and down the side of
the tooth. Remove the floss carefully, and
repeat the process for each tooth. While
flossing, make certain not to injure the
gums — keep your movements controlled
and gentle whenever the floss is in
contact with the gums.

4. Floss holders are available to help
with coordination.

Page 11

A Guide to Good Oral Health for Persons with Special Needs


© Special Olympics, Inc., 2008.
All rights reserved.

Don’t give up on brushing if the person is unable to hold a brush. Here
are six suggestions and possible methods to modify a toothbrush.

1. Note that even when an individual
cannot manipulate a regular toothbrush,
they may be able to brush their teeth on
their own by using an electric or battery-
operated toothbrush.

2. Consider attaching the toothbrush to
an individual’s hand by using a wide
elastic band (taking care that the band
is tight enough to secure the toothbrush
but loose enough so that it does not
constrict circulation).

3. Depending on the composition of the
toothbrush, bending a brush handle to
create a more conducive angle is some-
times possible by running very hot water
over the handle (not the brushhead) of
the toothbrush, to soften the plastic.

Page 20

A Guide to Good Oral Health for Persons with Special Needs


• Try to prevent thumb-sucking, finger-sucking or pacifier habits, which
may cause future malocclusions (bite abnormalities), because the child
may not be amenable to orthodontic therapy.

• Keep an infant’s gum pads clean to help reduce teething
discomfort. Use a gauze wipe or a washcloth.

• An early initial dental exam is important to monitor proper growth
and development and to detect dental decay. It will also help to mold
the child’s behavior by providing a positive initial experience.

• Be aware of “Nursing Bottle Mouth” or “Early Childhood Caries”; do
not put the child to bed for a nap or a night's sleep with a bottle of
sweetened liquid in his or her mouth (e.g. milk, formula or fruit juices).
When the child is sleeping, a decrease in salivary flow allows the
sugary liquid to remain in the child’s mouth for a longer time, causing
tooth decay. Demand breast-feeding over a long period of time can
cause a similar problem.

• Some liquid medications contain from 30 percent to 50 percent
sucrose, such as those used for preventing heart disease, seizures or
recurrent infections. These sugar-laden oral medications are most often
given at nap or bed time, when salivary flow is diminished and will
not wash away the liquids. Give the doses of medications when the
child is awake, and have the child rinse thoroughly after each dose.
Be sure to inform your dentist of the medications the child is taking, and
the frequency and time of the dosages prescribed. Request sugar-free
medications from your pharmacist.

• There is a wide range of timetables for the eruption of primary and
permanent teeth. Frequent dental care (at least semiannually) can help
to ensure proper guidance of developing teeth and, if necessary, early
interception of future malocclusions (bite abnormalities).

• If the child’s primary tooth has not fallen out and the permanent tooth is
erupting, seek care as soon as possible. Prompt removal of the primary
tooth can prevent a crossbite or other orthodontic problems that may not
be easily treatable.

• If tooth crowding is present, an early orthodontic consultation is
advisable. There are certain procedures that may limit or possibly avoid
extensive orthodontic treatment.

Page 21

Healthy Athletes

Created by the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation
for the Benefit of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities

Special Olympics Healthy Athletes¤ is supported in part through a cooperative agreement with the
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the generous support of corporate sponsors. HASS_OH 02/08

Special Olympics is an international nonprofit organization
dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual
disabilities to become healthy, productive and respected
members of society through sports training and competition.
Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Special
Olympics provides year-round sports training and
competition to over 2.5 million children and adults with
intellectual disabilities in more than 165 countries. Special
Olympics provides one of the world’s greatest platforms for
acceptance and inclusion for all people Ñ regardless of
race, religion, ethnicity or cultural differences.

Special Olympics International
+1 (202) 628-3630

+1 (202) 824-0200 fax
[email protected]

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