Little Pearls Dentistry For Children

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Special Needs Dentistry In Loudoun County

We believe that each child is special and deserves to feel safe, and should be treated with compassion and respect. These values are especially true in our care of children with special needs. We care for a variety of children possessing challenges such as  Asperger Syndrome, Autism/PDD, Cerebral Palsy, developmental delay, Down  Syndrome, hearing/vision impaired, sensory integration disorder, and others. A child with any of these challenges presents with unique needs that must be met in order to give him or her the best opportunity for optimal dental health. If necessary, we often see children with special health care needs several times prior to their cleaning appointments, allowing them to gradually become acclimated to the office.

We incorporate techniques of Floortime® and relationship development to help our special patients feel safe and supported. We have done our best to create a peaceful environment for all of our patients. Our office does not have the typical pediatric dental office “open bay” style; all of our dental operatories are either semi-private or private, providing comfort and less sensory stimulation for the children.  We are sensitive to the fact that many children with special needs have sensitivities to artificial colors, gluten, and fluoride. Our polishing pastes are free of all of these ingredients. 

If you are the parent of a child with special needs, we encourage you to seek dental care for your child early, as this is often vital to promoting good dental health and comfort in the dental office. For more information please call us at (703) 726-3030 for a complimentary consultation. 

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tooth shine icon - Little Pearls Dentistry For Children

DID YOU KNOW…

You can plan a visit to LPD prior to a formal
appointment to acclimate your child to his or her new dental home?
Just give us a call and we’d happy to set up a tour!

Ready To Schedule Your
Appointment?

Scheduling Your Child’s Appointment

When you call our office to schedule your child’s first appointment, let us know that your child has special health care needs. Depending on your child’s needs, we can schedule extra time, specific rooms, and match you with a staff member who would be best to meet your child’s needs.

Meeting You & Your Child

Some parents and children find it valuable to have a get to know you visit tour of the office first. If you believe your child would benefit from a complimentary “get to know us” visit, please let us know when you call.

Dental History

The dentist will need as much information about your child’s dental and overall health as you can provide, such as when their first teeth came in and their current oral care routine. Any dental records from a previous office will also be helpful and allow us to provide more accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Explore Sedation Options

We make all efforts to avoid sedation but recognize that it is sometimes necessary to help children achieve optimal dental health. We are able to provide in-office sedation and will be more than happy to discuss this option in depth as needed.

Individualized At-home Oral Care Routine

Depending on your child’s abilities, he or she may be at an increased risk of developing cavities and gingivitis simply from not being able to maintain a healthy oral care routine. After we complete our examination, we will offer ideas and will recommend products that can help you and your child keep your child healthy.

Consider Diet In Terms Of Oral Health

Diet and nutrition have huge effects on our dental health. The food we eat that’s good for our bodies is usually good for our teeth. However, patients with special health care needs often have special diets as well. Whenever possible, a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and organic dairy products is recommended.

Children with special health care needs are sometimes picky eaters and are frequent snackers (grazers). This dramatically increases their risk for cavities since many snack foods are high in carbohydrates. We will help you navigate different options.

Additionally, many teachers and therapists offer sweet treats as rewards for good behavior. While we certainly understand this strategy, we can provide you with alternative options that you can share with your child’s teachers and therapists.

CARE STRATEGIES FOR PATIENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

Establish A Dental Home

If you are the parent of a child with special needs, we encourage you to seek dental care for your child early, as this is often vital to promoting good dental health and comfort in the dental office. Many children with special health care needs take a little more time to develop trust. Although you may be nervous about how your child will behave, or how he or she will be treated, rest assured we are more than comfortable in seeing all kids with special health care needs ranging from autism, ADHD, Down Syndrome and other syndromes, cerebral palsy, sensory integration, and others.

We are sensitive to the fact that many children with special needs have sensitivities to artificial colors, gluten, and fluoride. Our polishing pastes are free of all of these ingredients.

Provide Comprehensive Medical History

When we fully understand your child’s medical history, our team is better prepared to serve your child’s specific needs. The goal is to understand your child’s unique needs while providing necessary dental care. A comprehensive and up-to-date medical history helps our team provide accurate diagnosis and more effective treatment.

Helpful information can include: the primary dental issue or complaint; a list of current illnesses or history of medical conditions; a list of healthcare providers; a history of hospitalizations, surgeries, anesthetic experiences, current medications, allergies, sensitivities, and thorough dental history.

Explore Behavior Guidance

Children with special health care needs are often resistant to dental care due to anxiety or a lack of understanding of the environment and/or procedures. We incorporate techniques of Floortime® and relationship development to help our special patients feel safe and supported. We create a peaceful environment for all of our patients. Our office does not have the typical pediatric dental office “open bay” style. All our dental operatories are either semi-private or private, providing privacy and less sensory stimulation for the children.

Explore Sedation Options

Sedation can be a powerful and helpful tool to give your child the dental care they need. Our team will consider your child’s needs and the findings of our examination to determine if sedation is necessary and which type will be most beneficial to your child. Consultation with your child’s other health care providers may be necessary when considering sedation options. Current medications, temperament, and your child’s specific needs will all affect this decision, so it’s important to be thorough in your child’s dental and medical history.

Individualized At-home Oral Care Routine

Depending on your child’s abilities, he or she may be at an increased risk of developing cavities and gingivitis simply from not being able to maintain a healthy oral care routine. After we complete our examination, we will offer ideas and will recommend products that can help you and your child keep your child healthy.

Consider Diet In Terms Of Oral Health

Diet and nutrition have huge effects on our dental health. The food we eat that’s good for our bodies is usually good for our teeth. However, patients with special health care needs often have special diets as well. Whenever possible, a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and organic dairy products is recommended.

Children with special health care needs are sometimes picky eaters and are frequent snackers (grazers). This dramatically increases their risk for cavities since many snack foods are high in carbohydrates. We will help you navigate different options.

Additionally, many teachers and therapists offer sweet treats as rewards for good behavior. While we certainly understand this strategy, we can provide you with alternative options that you can share with your child’s teachers and therapists.

 

tooth shield icon - Little Pearls Dentistry For Children

DID YOU KNOW…

Treatment plans and oral care routines will be customized to work around your child’s condition, disability or special needs.

Ready To Schedule Your
Appointment?