Autistic Children Need Their ToothPASTE Too

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Autistic Children Need Their Toothpaste Too_In Pitt Street Dental Centre At Sydney

Many people are waking up to the fact that oral health is especially important to the overall health of individuals. Those living with autism are no exception to this growing movement. Autistic children need their ToothPASTE too is a reflection of this happening within this section of human society. Giving voice to this concern is an important step in reducing the negative impacts of poor dental outcomes on those living with autism. It is all about empowering families with young autistic children to establish good oral health habits from the outset. This can make a massive difference to the rest of their lives in terms of health and wellbeing.


Research Reveals Oral Care Challenges For Autistic Children

Recent research has identified that tooth decay is a major health issue for children with autism. Imagine the challenges for non-verbal kids suffering from tooth decay and its related problems. Ongoing negative consequences, often, include self-harming, impaired sleep and disrupted lives. Going to the dentist is no easy task for many of these children. Finding willing dentists can be a challenge in itself. In many instances, dental treatment is only carried out under general anaesthetic.

“Children with special health care needs (CSHCNs), such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD), are at greater risk for experiencing oral health disparities than the general population. The prevalence of ASD has risen dramatically to 1 in 54 children. Given the high prevalence of ASD, it is likely that an increasing number of dental practitioners will encounter children with ASD in their practice or will be asked to treat children with ASD. “
– https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7795681/

Autistic Children Need Their Toothpaste Too_At Pitt Street Dental Centre In Sydney

Putting The ToothPASTE Tube Into The Hands Of Autistic Kids

If autistic kids can get into the early habit of brushing twice a day the road ahead can be less devastating for them and their parents. Tooth decay can be minimised and avoided via the intervention of good diet and toothbrushing with fluoride toothpaste. These things are important for all kids but doubly so for those living with autism. We are taking steps to improve the lives and outcomes of many challenged by disability but there is still a long way to go. Early childhood oral care regimes will make the future brighter for those living with autism.

Brushing Up On Good Practices For Dental Care

There is no denying that for families and carers of autistic children establishing good oral care habits can be tough. However, the long term rewards are worth working through these. The awareness of the research into the benefits and the dangers of doing or not doing something about childhood tooth decay for those living with autism provides a clear view ahead. It makes it paramount to put this high on the list of important stuff to do and keep doing. Good oral health makes a big difference to the lives of those living with autism.

YouTube video

“There are oral health disparities among children with autism as the characteristics of the disorder may prevent individuals from successfully tolerating oral examinations and procedures. The dental office is an unfamiliar setting, with noises, smells, and contact that can be frightening or uncomfortable. Children with autism may struggle to sit still throughout the exam or cooperate with elements of the exam and treatment. Further, there may be few local providers that are accustomed to meeting the needs of individuals on the spectrum. Travel to such specialized sites may be challenging for those students and resource intensive for parent or provider.”
– The Autism Spectrum News

Autistic Groups Recognising Importance Of Oral Health

The recognition among autistic support organisations and groups is furthering the cause for better dental health outcomes for those living with autism. Greater awareness invariably leads to more positive actions within the community toward meeting the challenges and making things easier for those impacted. Dentists themselves are being trained with a stronger emphasis on caring for those neurodivergent members of our community. Dental clinics are being set up with these individuals in mind in terms of the ambience of treatment rooms. Quieting spaces down is an important step in this progressive process toward being more inclusive for those living with autism. We, as a society, are taking positive steps on this journey to expanding things beyond the general comfort zone to meet the needs of others on the spectrum. It is something we can all play our part in by rejecting the overtures of the anti-woke backlash. The politicisation of inclusiveness by conservative parties is only holding back the progressiveness required to look after those living with autism. The culture wars negatively impact upon many of our most vulnerable members. We need to grow up as a society and realise that not everybody is the same, in terms of their needs for their wellbeing.

What Families Living With Autism Can Do?

Practicing the experience by ‘playing dentists’ can be an effective preparatory pathway.

“Autism Awareness Australia Chief Executive Officer, Nicole Rogerson says the dentist can be unpleasant for most people, let alone those living with autism. “For children, starting at home by ‘playing’ dentists is a good way forward. Practising brushing teeth, touching teeth – back ones too – and lying back.”
She says if this can be practised at home in the months and weeks before, it will be less of a shock on the day of the appointment.
“Watching YouTube videos of kids going to the dentist and reading social stories is another way of helping that child understand and prepare beforehand.”
– The Disability Support Guide

The most important takeaway from this article should be that good oral health is vital for the overall wellbeing of the individual. Our teeth and gums are like a sign telling us and others how we are faring in the health stakes. Bad teeth lead to more serious negative health outcomes whoever you are. For those living with autism the consequences long term can be even more diabolical. Make looking after their oral care a priority. Establish early on the necessary routines like brushing teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. A good diet that avoids sugary foods and drinks will pay lifelong dividends. Drink plenty of pure water and a mouthful after meals can reduce plaque build ups. Avoid dry mouth spells wherever possible. Make oral care an empowering experience for the individual and a better life beckons for all.


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