Wednesdays, the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) runs a dental clinic for children with special needs.
The state of Ziim’s teeth are nothing I am proud of. According to experts “children with CP may be more susceptible to tooth decay than their non-disabled peers. This is because the natural, self-cleaning which is facilitated by saliva (especially at night) may be disrupted. In addition, debris which usually gets moved away by the motion of the tongue may not be cleared so effectively if a child’s tongue is less mobile”. (The Cerebral Palsy handbook p 105). Added to this for her is the nursing bottle syndrome. There are lots of things I wish I knew back when Ziim was little. I used to let her fall asleep sucking a bottle of milk hmm.
Three years ago or thereabout, I had taken Ziim for routine dental check up. Back then, I do not think this clinic existed. The doctors we met could not get through to her mouth, so nothing was done for her. Most mothers with children with CP will attest to the fact that oral care for the children is one hell of a task.
Since learning about this dental clinic for children with special needs in LUTH, I have been procrastinating on taking Ziim there.
So yesterday morning, I decided to take her. I had expected to see a good number of children with special needs. At about 10 am when we got to the clinic, not a single child was there. So we got all the attention there was!
They took their time, they were in no hurry, they told me. She is a special case. They worked at her pace and my dear girl regaled in all the attention.
Now see her……………………
Thank you so much to the dental team at LUTH.
If you are reading this and you have a child with special needs or know of some one who does and lives in Lagos, please the clinic is on Wednesdays. You do not need a referral, just walk in. Trust that henceforth the routine checks will be adhered to and I will encourage every mother in the center to take her child.