Parents of children with disabilities often focus on the disability itself, forgetting the other aspects of their child’s health. As a parent, it is crucial to take a closer look at your child’s overall dental health to avoid severe dental issues in the future. For parents of diabetic children, it can be difficult to balance everything, and diabetes-related problems may get prioritized over other health issues.
When a child has diabetes, whether it’s Type I or Type II, visiting a dentist to formulate a diabetes dental health action plan is important to avoid any complications. Diabetic patients should manage their blood sugar level to make sure that their dental health is in tip-top condition.
Dental Problems Faced By Diabetic Patients
If you don’t know this, diabetic patients have a higher risk of experiencing the following dental issues:
Diabetes can slow down saliva production, which could result in dry mouth. Saliva contains enzymes that can fight off bacteria, and without it, your mouth is left vulnerable to mouth sores, ulcers, and infection.
When a child has diabetes, they have a compromised immune system that can’t fight off bacteria as effectively as other children could. It is best to teach your child about the importance of regular brushing and flossing to remove plaque. If plaque is not removed, it will become tartar. Tartar affects the gumline on the base of your teeth, also known as the gingiva. When someone has gingivitis, their gums bleed easily. It is also red and swollen.
If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to a more serious stage of gum disease. Periodontitis is the culprit for damaged soft tissues and bones that are holding your teeth in place. So, if you’re wondering about the connection between dental bone loss and diabetes, here it is. It is essential not to let gingivitis reach this point to avoid the risk of their teeth getting loose or falling out.
Your mouth consists of good bacteria. When sugar and starches from the things you consume interact with these bacteria, plaque forms. Plaque comes with acids that damage the surface of your teeth. It attacks your teeth’s dentin and enamel that can result in tooth decay.
These are only a few of the dental problems that diabetics will experience if they fail to practice proper dental hygiene. For parents, it is imperative that you discuss this with your child who has diabetes. Working with a dentist early on will also help your child get the dental care they need.
Dental Care for Diabetic Patients
For your child’s teeth and gums to be healthy, it is imperative to follow the following dental health care tips:
- Manage their blood sugar level and ensure that it’s always on or close to normal levels. Strictly follow their doctor’s advice on this. By doing this, you won’t have to worry about gum disease.
- Don’t skip brushing their teeth. According to the American Dental Association, brushing your teeth twice a day will keep cavities away. Reminding them to brush their teeth after every meal is ideal to get rid of any food particles stuck in between their teeth.
- Replace their toothbrush at least every three months. Bacteria tend to breed on toothbrushes. Replacing them regularly will ensure that the bacteria will not be able to get to their mouth, teeth, and gums. Make sure that you choose ones with soft bristles to avoid any trauma to their teeth’s enamel.
- Visit the dentist regularly. If your child already has a diabetes dental action plan, taking them to the dentist regularly can also help. The dentist may request dental x-rays to see if there are dental issues that aren’t visible to you. The dentist will also do professional teeth cleanings and dental examinations.
- Check your child’s blood sugar levels before going to the dentist. Make sure that your child eats and takes their medicine prior to the appointment. Bring healthy snacks if needed. It is recommended to postpone any non-emergency dental procedures if your child’s blood sugar level is not under control.
- Inform your child’s dentist about diabetes. This will help the dentist come up with a special treatment plan for your child’s overall dental state. If it’s possible, give the contact details of your child’s physician. This will allow the doctors to collaborate and make a treatment plan that will best benefit your child.
If you’re looking for Durango, CO, dentists that can help you with diabetes and dental health, Sunrise Dentistry is here for you! We practice holistic dentistry and specialize in mercury-free, whole-body health and dental care. Our team can provide the dental care that your child needs and deserves. Schedule an appointment with us now! Call at (970) 247-3303, or you can drop by our clinic at 1911 Main Avenue, Suite 116 Durango, CO 81301.