At Bright Pediatric Smiles, Dr. Sam is proud to invite kids from all walks of life into her dental office and help them put their best foot forward when it comes to lifelong oral health and happiness. This promise includes all children with special needs, such as sensory concerns, autism, developmental disorders, behavioral impairments, and much more. As a Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist, she has completed multiple years of specialty training and is uniquely qualified to work closely with your son or daughter. Do you have any questions? Would you like to schedule a first visit here in Poway, CA? Don’t hesitate to contact us!


While common oral health problems like decay can affect all children, those with disabilities have an increased susceptibility to these worrisome issues. Here are just some factors that can contribute to poor oral health over time:

  • Medications – If a child is taking medications that have been sweetened for long periods of time, it can contribute to the development of cavities. Additionally, some medications that are specifically designed to prevent seizures have actually been shown to cause bleeding and/or swelling in the gum tissue.
  • Restricted Diets – If a child is only able to eat pureed foods, parents may find that remnants are more likely to stick to teeth and cause harm over time.
  • Physical Limitations – If a special needs child struggles with poor motor coordination, they may not be capable of brushing and flossing properly alone. Additionally, if they are unable to move their tongue or chew, they won’t benefit from the tongue, cheek, and lips’ natural cleaning actions.
  • Minimal Saliva Flow – If a child needs an adult’s help to drink, it’s likely that they will consume less fluids and have less saliva production to help wash away food particles stuck in the mouth.


First, Dr. Sam will work closely with parents to develop a solid, at-home oral hygiene strategy for special needs children, which may involve the use of special products, professional fluoride treatments, and dental sealants. Our team will also provide dedicated checkups and cleanings on a routine basis to ensure that their developing teeth have all of the necessary support to shine.

Does your son or daughter already need restorative care? You don’t need to worry. We’ll create a soothing environment for the procedure and use sedation dentistry as needed to help your loved one feel genuinely at ease throughout the treatment process. Before you know it, their smile will be back on the right track!


At Bright Pediatric Smiles, both nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) and oral conscious sedation are available to help create a fully relaxed environment for special needs patients. More than anything, your child’s safety and comfort are the #1 priority here in Poway, and these services can go a long way towards making their appointments very smooth for the whole family.