Special Needs Dentistry


Pediatric Cosmetic Dental Services Decorative Image

It’s common for kids to feel anxious about coming to the dentist. For parents of children that have special needs, it can be especially challenging to find a dentist that you trust with your child’s care, and who also makes your child feel comfortable and safe. 

At Pediatric Dental Associates, we strive to create a safe and welcoming environment for all children, and their families. Our dentist, Dr. Mary Jo McGuire, is trained to work with children that have developmental disabilities, chronic medical problems, and behavioral challenges to provide the best dental care and treatment. 

Call us today at 908-735-6300 to schedule your appointment.


Your Child’s First Visit


If your child is nervous or anxious, we can move slowly without any pressure. A great first step is just to come into the waiting room and play with the toys that we have available for families. We can bring your child into the office to see the dental equipment. They might sit in the chair to see what it feels like. 

We want your child to feel comfortable and safe

Our dentist is trained to be patient and calm, redirecting problematic behavior and alleviating any fears that your child might have. We will always work at your child’s pace and comfort level while employing strategies that will make the process easier and less stressful.

Pediatric dental sedation

For some children with special needs, dental sedation can provide a safe and comfortable option, that will let your child feel more at ease during a dental procedure. This is especially useful for children that have sensory challenges or high anxiety.  We do not offer sedation dentistry, but can discuss this option with you to see if it might be right for your child.


The Importance of Oral Health


Good oral healthcare is important for every child, but kids with special needs are particularly vulnerable to gum disease, tooth decay, and oral trauma. That is why it is so important to find a pediatric dentist that you trust, who can work alongside you, to make sure that your child gets the dental healthcare that they need. 

Your child will have different challenges depending on their specific situation. However, there are some very common issues that your dentist can help with. 

    • Many children with special needs have increased sensitivity around their oral cavity. We can work with parents to address feeding challenges and other issues that can develop over time. 
    • Some children have trouble opening their mouths completely, which can make it harder to keep up with regular brushing and flossing. Other kids lack the motor coordination needed to brush and floss. There are tools that can help, whatever your child’s level of physical coordination. 
    • Children with sensory issues are often overwhelmed by the taste of toothpaste, or by the feeling of toothbrush bristles. We can suggest alternative tools that will help.  
    • Kids with Down syndrome and certain other genetic disorders might have delayed tooth eruption. They may also have malformed or missing teeth. Overcrowding issues can make teeth more difficult to clean, leaving your child vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease. 
    • Children with cerebral palsy or other cognitive issues may grind their teeth, breaking down tooth enamel. 

Contact Us Today


At Pediatric Dental Associates, your family is always welcome in our offices. We have the training and experience needed to handle a wide range of cognitive and behavioral challenges, and we will always provide your child with the best possible dental healthcare.

Call 908-735-6300 to schedule your appointment.