- If your child is at high risk of inhaling (aspirating) saliva or liquids and is unable to safely spit out toothpaste or secretions; try:
- Brushing teeth with a fluoride or low-foaming toothpaste, e.g. Biotene Dry Mouth Toothpaste or many specific toothpastes for children.
- Ensure they are positioned as safely as possible while cleaning their mouth, e.g. lie them on their side or place them in their most supportive seating with their head tilted forward.
- Brush their teeth with a suction toothbrush system (discuss with your health care professional as this will require access to a portable or home suction system).
- If your child does not like having their mouth touched:
- Establish a routine for brushing and flossing teeth (morning and night), using the same technique and the same setting.
- Use positive reinforcement for good tooth brushing behaviours.
- Consider using water during tooth brushing at first and then work your way up to mild or unflavoured tooth paste, as tolerated.
- Seek advice from your oral health care professional if you are still having difficulty (dentist or speech pathologist).
Who needs dental review or specialist referral?
All children should see a dentist by their first birthday. Children with special needs, including those with dysphagia, should regularly see a dentist as they are at increased risk of poor oral health.
Children will be referred to the Queensland Children’s Hospital Oral Health clinic for review and an oral health management plan if they are identified at high risk of poor oral hygiene, or need specific products or equipment prescribed.
Speech Pathology Department (7a)
Level 7, Queensland Children’s Hospital
501 Stanley Street
South Brisbane 4101
t 07 3068 2375
In an emergency, always call 000.
If it’s not an emergency but you have any concerns, contact 13 Health (13 43 2584). Qualified staff will give you advice on who to talk to and how quickly you should do it. You can phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.