If your child has Down syndrome, then you want to educate yourself on the dental challenges that you may face with your child, so you can be proactive with regards to keeping their teeth in the best shape possible. Here are some of the things that you should understand about people with Down syndrome, specifically where dental differences are concerned.
Teeth can come in later
People with Down syndrome generally have both their first and permanent teeth come in later than what would be considered the normal time frame. Keep in mind that even though your child's teeth may take much longer to come in, you are still going to want to keep their gums clean with a soft cloth and toothpaste to avoid unnecessary problems with their teeth when they do come in.
Issues with the bite
"Bite" is the term used to describe the way the teeth fit against each other when a person's mouth is closed. In people with Down syndrome, there are various things going on with their mouth that can cause the bite to be off.
Many people who have Down syndrome will have a small top jaw and very small teeth. There may be significant spaces between some of their teeth. It is possible for someone to have some teeth with large gaps and others so close together that they crowd each other. Their teeth can also be pointed, which prevents a correct bite from being achieved.
People with Down syndrome also often have large tongues, and this can cause them to constantly push against the backs of their teeth with their tongue, which can eventually cause their teeth to jut outward and cause an overbite.
Other issues caused by dental issues
Dental issues can cause problems such as issues with speech and even swallowing. Problems with swallowing can cause issues with drooling. Drooling problems can cause a rash, so you want to try to keep their mouth, chin, and neck areas as dry as possible.
Dental visits are very important
With all of the possible dental concerns, you want to be sure you take your child in to the dentist according to the dentist's recommendations, which can be more often than what you have been used to with your visits or even with your other children's visits. Ongoing dental care will be important to prevent more dental issues as well as to possibly correct existing issues.