Oral Health: A Challenge for Children with Special Healthcare Needs
The Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs has recently highlighted in their monthly newsletter, Pulse, real life examples of the challenges faced by children with special healthcare needs and their families when seeking dental care. The stories are a shocking portrayal of a system that does not support care for those who need it most.
Parents of children with autism and those with many more disabilities describe their experiences with simply finding a dentist who accepts Medicaid to experimenting with different ways to brush their child’s teeth (a tasty toothpaste is key!). Oral healthcare should not be an added stress to families that are already overwhelmed. These families deserve to be able to access dental care that is caring and respectful of their needs and to benefit from preventive interventions such as water fluoridation, topical fluoride, and regular check-ups.