3.1 Family Interview
To provide appropriate care for children with special health care needs, oral health professionals need to gather key information from parents. Topics to discuss include the following:
- Perinatal history. Asking questions about prenatal and neonatal history may help explain any dental abnormalities or immature motor reflexes.
- Developmental history. Asking questions about the child’s development may help correlate dental growth and development with general developmental milestones.
- Medical history. Asking questions about history of illnesses, medications, surgeries, and other medical care can provide insight into the child’s oral health status and risk factors.
- Dental history. Asking questions about the child’s dental history can provide insight into teething problems, oral lesions or trauma, home care practices (e.g., use of fluoride or fluoride products), and dental visits.
- Nutritional history. Asking questions about feeding and eating practices may help determine whether the child has delayed feeding skills; has difficulty eating; requires a special diet or food restrictions or has feeding equipment needs; has specific food likes, dislikes, or allergies; or is at high risk for developing dental caries.