Many individuals in the special needs community have oral sensory sensitivity, which means they have a difficult time tolerating different tastes and consistencies in their mouths. This makes brushing extremely difficult as many cannot tolerate toothpaste, ultimately making brushing impossible. Check out the toothpaste page for some tricks and tips for picking a toothpaste that will help with their oral sensory sensitivity, for instance a toothpaste that is flavorless. For some, they may benefit from toothpastes that do not foam, those without the ingredient Sodium lauryl sulfate (also known as SLS) to help with their oral sensory sensitivity.
Another concern is that many of these individuals can only tolerate certain food consistencies and tastes. For some, this means only consuming a diet of high sugary foods which can easily cause cavities. Ideally, you want to avoid having the individual eat or drink high sugar items as well as processed foods.
Many of these individuals have a difficult time at the dentist being able to tolerate having a dentist or hygienist clean their teeth. Many of the professionals, especially those in the pediatric specialty, are trained in the knowledge and techniques to overcome these sensitivities to provide care for these individuals.