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People with Down syndrome sometimes need specialized care for their unique dental needs. This handout will tell you how to prepare for a visit to the dentist, where to find the right dentist and how to care for your or your child's teeth at home.
People with Down syndrome need specialized dental care for many reasons. One reason is that they have a higher risk of developing gum disease and cavities. People with Down syndrome usually do not get their first teeth until they’re about 1 year old. They might be 4 or 5 years old before they have all of their baby teeth. People with Down syndrome might also have teeth that look different from other children’s teeth. They can have cross bites (where the top teeth lie inside the bottom teeth), open bites (where the top and bottom teeth don’t touch), or crowded, missing or extra teeth. They can also have impacted canine teeth, where the canine teeth don’t come through the gums. These problems can also cause children with Down syndrome to grind their teeth.
To prepare for a dentist visit, you should:
You should find a dentist 6 months after your child’s first tooth comes in OR after he or she is 1 year old, whichever happens first.
It is important to find the right dentist so that you or your child receive the best dental care possible. Here are some resources where you can find dentists who are specially trained to work with people who have Down syndrome and other special health care needs:
Finding the right dentist when you are young is important and will help prevent dental problems in the future. Preventing dental problems from the time you are young is the key to healthy teeth and gums. The type of dental care you need, however, depends on your age.
You might like different dental care products more than others. There are many options to choose from. Here are some suggestions for different types of dental care products:
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