3 Questions to Ask Your Dentist When Your Son or Daughter Has Down Syndrome

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If your son or daughter has Down syndrome, he or she may often experience unique dental challenges. For example, many people with Down syndrome take longer to develop both primary and adult teeth. When their teeth finally do come in, it is not unusual for their teeth to be smaller than you might expect, which may result in spacing issues. Therefore, when deciding on appropriate dental care for your son or daughter with Down syndrome, it is a good idea to ask your dentist the following questions.

#1-How Will the Late Development of Teeth Impact Your Child?

It will first be necessary to set reasonable expectations for your child and their first teeth. For instance, it is not unusual for other children to begin to get teeth at about four to six months of age, but your little one may not do so until after their first birthday.  Therefore, you may want to discuss the unique dental needs that your child may have from that delay.

Common concerns to ask about will be the frequency with which your child will need professional dental examinations when they have few or no teeth. While it is not unusual for babies without teeth to see a dentist during their first year of life, you may want to verify how many times you should do so. 

#2-Will Smaller Teeth Cause Problems?

Since people with Down Syndrome will often have small teeth, spacing issues are common. That is complicated by the fact that small upper jaws are also associated with the genetic disorder, so cavities are not uncommon. Orthopedic issues as a result of the overcrowding are fairly typical, so it may be helpful to know what to expect later on.

If your parenting plan for your child with special needs includes encouraging as much independence as possible from an early age, this is a good time to ask about suggestions for appropriate toothbrushes, toothpaste, rinses, and flosses and when those can be introduced. While doing so is obviously not an option for a baby or toddler, it will be useful to know when it would be a good to start with the basics of self-care for your child's oral health.

#3-Are There Any Other Dental Concerns That You Should Be Aware Of?

Since there are varying severities of Down syndrome, there is not yet a one-size-fits-all recommendation about dental care. Your child's abilities and skills will impact how well he or she will be able to care for themselves in the future. However, by planning ahead now and keeping the lines of communication open with the family dentist, you will know early on whether additional dental problems are likely to occur.

In conclusion, as the parent of a child with Down syndrome, you will need to watch for many health concerns. Since your son or daughter will be prone to specific dental concerns, it will be a good idea to ask your child's dentist or a dentist at a center like Apollo Dental Center the questions listed above.