It is important for children with bleeding disorders to take good care of their teeth and gums. Regular visits to the dentist will reduce the chance of future problems such as extractions or mouth infections, which can lead to further problems.
Attending the Dentist
Your child can attend their own dentist for routine care such as check-ups, x-rays, fissure sealants, fluoride treatments, fillings, cleanings, root canal treatments and crowns. You should inform the dentist about the bleeding disorder and advise them that further information is available from your child’s haematology treatment centre.
Should your child need a tooth extraction or certain injections, your dentist should contact your haematology consultant or nurse as these types of treatment may need to be provided at a specialist centre.
Your dentist will advise you and your child on how best to avoid dental problems and will provide regular interventions such as fluoride treatments and fissure sealants to prevent dental disease. Every child with a bleeding disorder should attend their dentist twice a year.
Top Tips for healthy gums
- Use a soft, child sized toothbrush to brush teeth twice a day.
- Children over two years should have their teeth brushed with a full strength fluoridated toothpaste.
- For children under two, you should consult their dentist regarding toothpaste use.
- Drink only milk and water during the day.
- Drink only water at night.
- Avoid fizzy drinks, juice and diluted fruit drinks.
- Restrict sweets and sugary foods.
- Attend the dentist by one year of age.
- Have a check-up every six months.
What type of dentist can my child attend?
Your child can attend a family dentist, a dentist working in the HSE (school dentist), or a private paediatric dentist. Your haematology team can contact your child’s dentist and give any necessary advice.
Where should my child have a dental extraction carried out?
A dental extraction should usually be carried out at a haematology centre with specialist dental care.
Should I brush my child’s teeth if they bleed?
Bleeding gums are usually a sign of gum disease and this is usually caused by poor brushing. If your child has a bleeding disorder this may mean that his / her gums bleed more easily. The best treatment is to improve your child’s tooth brushing and attend your dentist for a check-up and cleaning.
Does my child need extra protection when teeth come into the mouth or when baby teeth fall out?
The majority of children with bleeding disorders do not have problems with teeth coming in or falling out. If there s a signficant bleed, contact your haematology team.