April articles

Autism and Oral Health

Because children love their sweets and tend to be accident-prone, it’s always a good idea to be extra mindful of their oral health. This is especially true for parents of children with autism, who may be more susceptible to oral health issues.1

Problems such as bruxism (tooth grinding), enamel erosion, dry mouth and non-nutritive chewing are found frequently in children with autism. These problems may be due to a variety of factors including diet, medications with high sugar content and behavioral issues that make home oral health care hard to maintain. Children with autism may also experience more anxiety about going to dental appointments.2

Thankfully, many general and pediatric dentists are now trained to care for children with special needs. Find a dentist who understands your child may need extra care and work together to approach your child’s oral health. A dentist trained to work with children on the autism spectrum can help you learn what behavioral strategies are most effective for your child and what other oral health issues he or she may have.

1 http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Search/22,Delta109
2 http://www.autismspeaks.org/docs/sciencedocs/atn/dental-toolkit.pdf


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