Dental Work, Orthodonthia and Down Syndrome

Dental Work, Orthodonthia and Down Syndrome
A great deal or research has been done in the past thirty years on dental and orthodontic issues in children and adults with Down syndrome, and best practices have been developed that are also available to families to share with dental professionals who may not be aware of the professional support and information available. Children with Down syndrome now growing up included in their neighborhood schools and community are often patients of the same dental practices and orthodontists as their classmates and neighbors. It can be as effective to provide information to a top-rated orthodontist as it is to seek out a dental professional with experience working with individuals with Down syndrome.

While a great deal of the education, training and expertise required to provide retainers, braces, and other orthodontic care to children and teens with Down syndrome is the same that is required for intervention for their mainstream peers, there are other considerations. Some professionals recommend delays in treatment due to articulation challenges that might be increased by the installation of braces.
Physical differences can result in unexpected outcomes. Because many children with Down syndrome have smaller teeth with shorter roots, some may experience tooth loss when braces are removed.

Children with Down syndrome may have delayed eruption of adult teeth, or not have a full set of adult teeth when their baby teeth are gone. Some require having a few adult teeth removed due to overcrowding in a very small mouth. Dealing with a regular size tongue in a smaller mouth cavity can cause pressure on teeth that push them forward. Children with Down syndrome can also require the services of an orthodontist due to injury or other medical problem, just like anyone else.

Many children and teens with Down syndrome are fitted with retainers or braces that not only enhance their smiles, and improve oral health but also aid clarity in speech production and contribute to other oral-motor improvement. Like everyone else, there may be times when headgear, braces, or a retainer is such an imposition that a child has an emotional or physical reaction. Children and teens need support and encouragement even when orthodontia is their idea, and especially when it is something adults in charge have insisted upon. Reading books featuring characters with braces, retainers or other orthodontics may help children and teens cope with the challenges they find.

Browse at your public library, local bookstore, or online retailer for books like The Braces Cookbook,Smile or Star the Tooth Fairy Wants To Know If You Need Braces?

Orthodontic possibilities for children with Down Syndrome - PDF - 12 pages
Presented to Ups for Downs parent group April 22, 2010

Riverbend Down Syndrome Association
Orthodontic Considerations in Individuals with Down Syndrome: A Case Report

Treating Down Syndrome Patients
David R Musich, DDS, Matthew J Busch, DDS, and Jolette Porter, BS, CDA

Down Syndrome Education International - DS Education Online
Dental Care for the Patient with Down Syndrome
Elizabeth Pilcher - Associate Professor, Department of Prosthodontics, College of Dental Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina

Treating Kids With Down Syndrome with James R. Greer, DMD, MSc

Riverbend Down Syndrome Association
Why Is Periodontal Disease More Prevalent and More Severe in People with Down Syndrome?

Riverbend Down Syndrome Association
Your Child's Dental Health - Elizabeth S. Pilcher, DMD
From the NDSC Down Syndrome News

Dental Lifeline Network (previously known as
The National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped)

Riverbend Down Syndrome Association
Dental Care for the Patient with Down Syndrome - Elizabeth S. Pilcher, DMD

Riverbend Down Syndrome Association
Dentistry and Down Syndrome Abstracts

National Down Syndrome Society
Dental Issues & Down Syndrome

Special Care Dentistry Association

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