Dental care

We know that children and young people with a learning disability, autism or both have higher levels of untreated tooth decay.  A healthy mouth is important for overall health and wellbeing. Good oral hygiene can affect your child’s ability to eat, sleep, talk, and play. It’s also important for how they feel about themselves. Tooth decay and gum disease are the most common UK dental problems, but are mostly preventable.

The sensory project is working with residential special schools and colleges to support daily mouth care for children and young people and oral health assessments which can identify people who need dental care or treatment.

More information about finding a dentist is available on the NHS.UK website. The site includes information about local dentist’s opening times, services, facilities, reviews and ratings. 

More information

Providing oral healthcare for autistic children and young people and/or those with a learning disability in special educational settings

We have published a clinical standard to support everybody involved in providing oral healthcare for children and young people with a learning disability, autism or both, in Special Educational Settings in England.

To go with the clinical standard, we have produced some helpful resources that are designed to help people deliver the oral healthcare assessment, either in person or remotely. They are helpful for staff in Special Educational Settings, as well as the child or young person themselves.

Families and carers

We have worked with SeeAbility, Contact and the National Deaf Children’s Society to produce a parents’ guide to oral health and dental care for children with a learning disability, autism or both.

The guide explains why these health checks are important, how to access them and how to prepare and support your child.

Going to the dentist in words, symbols and Makaton signs

For lots of reasons some people find going to the dentist difficult. This film from Health Education England explains to you in words, symbols and Makaton signs what happens on a routine visit to the dentist.

Books beyond words – Going to the dentist

This story about Matthew gives information about a dental x-ray, preparing a tooth for a filling and how to keep his teeth and gums healthy.

Reasonable adjustments at the dentist

This photo story shows how Katrina gets the right care when she goes to the dentist by asking for reasonable adjustments.

Looking after your teeth

This easy read guide is about dental care. This is about looking after your teeth by keeping them clean and by going to the dentist regularly.

Useful links