Children and youth who have special health care needs may also need specialized dental care. When people have physical, intellectual or emotional disabilities, they may have conditions that interfere with good oral health. In addition, they may be unable to access dental care that meets their specialized needs without driving long distances or waiting months to see a specialist.
Oral Health Kansas has established several programs/services designed to support people’s needs for individualized and specialized oral health care. These include partnering with state and local agencies serving children and youth with special health care needs, distributing public awareness and oral health educational materials, and providing educational opportunities for all who support the development of children and youth.
To improve the oral health of children and youth with special health care needs.
Increase access to professional dental care for children and youth needing specialized care
Offer continuing dental education programs focusing on children and youth with special health care needs
Provide educational workshops on oral health care to all who support the health and development of children and youth with special health care needs
Maintain a statewide network of dental hygienists who are oral health educators
Education and Training: KS-Train Online Courses: Bureau of Oral Health (KDHE) has produced two online oral health continuing education courses covering issues relevant to children and youth with special health care needs (https://ks.train.org/DesktopShell.aspx ).
Regional Parent Educators: Oral Health Kansas contracts with six part-time Registered Dental Hygienists and partners with other hygienists to educate families, caregivers, educators, and therapists on ways to support oral health for the children and youth in their care.
Technical Assistance: OHK staff provides guidance, information, materials and education to statewide agencies and health care programs serving children and youth with special health care needs so that these groups can incorporate oral health into their program of work.
Professional Dental Care: Regional Parent Educators provide oral screening, fluoride varnish applications and parent education at health fairs, family events, and Kansas University Medical Center’s Specialty Clinics.
Specialized dental care for children and youth can be accessed through a number of private and public health dentists working in various parts of the state.
Newsletter Articles -- Oral Health Kansas provides articles for state and local newsletters focusing on issues related to oral health for all children and youth.
Tips & Tricks -- OHK also offers one-page public awareness Tips & Tricks on a variety of oral health topics
Family to Family Workbook
How to Brush Someone Else’s Teeth Video – a 12 minute video produced by Kansas Dental Association featuring an occupational therapist demonstrating assisted guidance with adolescents
There are unique challenges to assisting people with developmental disabilities. This film is designed to provide some basic toothbrushing guidance for caregivers. It examines five students at the Heartspring School in Wichita, KS, with instruction by Tim Koontz, an occupational therapist at the school.
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