A Quick Guide For New Foster Parents To The Unique Dental Needs Of The Children In Their Care

As a new foster parent, you probably were required to take classes in first aid, positive discipline, understanding the impact of drug abuse on children, and similar subjects. Unfortunately, you might be shocked to discover how common advanced dental decay is in foster kids and the additional difficulties that often manifest as a result of untreated cavities in those children. Therefore, it's important to know what to look for and how even the severest dental issues can be addressed without traumatizing the children in your care.

Understanding The Impact Of Deep, Multiple Cavities On Kids

Although it's easy to understand that the pain and embarrassment of untreated cavities can impact a child's self-esteem, it's easy to forget the toll it can take on his or her health, academic performance and even the ability to speak clearly. For example, the pain of cavities can make it more difficult to eat a balanced diet, which can then make being healthy almost impossible. In addition, verbal skills might fail to develop normally or regress due to pain and discomfort associated with the dental issues.

If a child is unhealthy and behind where he or she should be verbally, school attendance will often suffer and the student falls behind. You may also notice that going to the dentist, especially when repeated visits and extensive work is needed, can be quite challenging to kids who have limited or non-existent experience with dentists. In that instance, finding the right dentist is incredibly important, as mentioned in the following section.     

Facilitating Dental Treatment

Unfortunately, it has been estimated that more than one out of three kids in foster care have significant dental problems at the time of their entry. Since many of those children will have never seen a dentist and many kids new to foster care experience anxiety about their status, just seeing the dentist can be very traumatic for many kids. When you consider that almost one out of every five kids of school-age experience dental anxiety and you realize that it is possible that those numbers are higher for foster kids, it's obvious that dental work for foster kids can be quite challenging for everyone involved.

Therefore, it's best to do your best to create a soothing environment for the child that seems both safe and pleasant. That might include providing him or her with the information as to what can be expected from the dental appointment, including what can be seen, felt, tasted, etc. It's also a good idea to empower the child with the knowledge that it is possible to ask for breaks, ask questions, etc. 

Another option involves distracting the child, so many pediatric dentists have television sets and kids DVDs for their patients. Finally, staggering the care that is received over numerous visits can allow the child to trust the dentist and it might also be helpful for the dentist to meet with you without doing any dental work in order to form a relationship with the patient.         

In conclusion, dental issues are unfortunately quite common in foster kids and many of those concerns have existed for some time. As a result, it's going to be up to you as a foster parent to facilitate appropriate dental treatment and the information shared above will help you to do so. Visit a site like http://www.aperfectsmileinprice.com for more help.