Globally, the physical wellbeing of children and young adults is deteriorating on a daily basis. Current statistics reveal that about 1650 million persons across the world have been classified as disabled. In particular, India has the highest percentage of disabled children with approximately 6 to 10 children born with different forms of disability.
Furthermore, persons with special needs, especially children and young adults have a high probability of acquiring oral diseases in their lifetime probably because of lack of knowledge and awareness in seeking preventive dental care. Indeed, patients with special needs often feel reluctant seeking dental care compared with those without any disabilities. This may negatively affect the rate of dental visits as well as oral health. As such, there is a need for medical practitioners to undergo regular and additional training to equip them with relevant knowledge and skills in addressing the oral health status of children as well as determine the best treatments (Jain et al. 32).
The efforts by the medical practitioners to address oral health problems presented by children have proven futile. Oral diseases are still a major issue among children and young adults. Children with special needs, in particular, those born with disabilities have a high prevalence of acquiring oral diseases because they lack knowledge about oral health. They also lack proper access to quality care and adequate preventive measures, for instance, dental sealants. Children are highly susceptible to dental caries and, therefore, require restorative care to experience the needed oral hygiene. As such, dental practitioners have the overall responsibility of making timely dental appointments as well as offer counsel to parents regarding the significance of oral hygiene (Jain et al 35). It is also recommendable for dentists to offer school-based programs to educate children about oral skills as well as provide supplements needed for oral hygiene.
Jain Arihant, Thakur Seema, Singhal Parul, Thakur Priyanka. Oral Health Status and Treatment Needs of Children and Young Adults Attending a Day Centre for Individuals with Special Health Care Needs in Shimla. Int J Dent Med Res 2015; 1(6):32-36