Patients with Special

Healthcare Needs

Your child has special needs. BREATHE!

Regardless of the severity of your child’s needs - your dental team is here to help you keep them healthy.  

FIRST - Do your best and know that your child can have a healthy mouth.

SECOND – You are your child’s best advocate!

  • Tell your dental team your child’s full medical history. Medications, diagnosis, and past surgeries can affect the health of the mouth

  • When visiting the dentist – ask questions and offer any information about your child that would make the visit more comfortable.

  • Favorite music, smells, things that startle them – your dental team wants to know it all!

THIRDRemember, you can do this. In addition to the other care that your child receives, you can create and succeed at a toothbrushing routine.

special needs boy and sister


We all need to connect with people who have had experiences similar to ours.

Through sports, Special Olympics provides opportunities for inclusive inspiration and connection. Want more information on how to participate – Click here

Many chapters also offer free medical and dental screenings for their athletes! Read more here.

Live in Texas or Louisiana? Learn about the Special Needs Dental Assistant Tech Training Program here.

Find out our Tips for Tears during brushing.

Learn more about the importance of baby teeth.

Quick Q+A

for your special needs child.

Talk with them about how this could lead to cavities. Together – you can work on a plan to lessen the use of sweets.

Don’t forget to brush and see a dentist!

  • Even if they aren’t eating by mouth – there are still teeth in there that need some attention and care.
  • Discuss with your medical doctor the use of toothpaste and mouthwashes if your child tends to swallow them. 

It is Ok! Click here to learn how saliva protects the teeth. Want to keep their clothes clean - I have seen some fancy “dining scarfs” click here

If they chew on items that can damage their teeth or gums - try one of these sensory toys instead. Click here

Try these exercises. Be sure to brush after activities that involve food/drinks.

Here is a guide that has more tips and tricks. Click here


  1. Mouth care when your child has a feeding tube. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Accessed October 23, 2020.