Friday, November 24, 2017

Teeth Brushing Sensory Style

    I'm not going to lie. My son doesn't brush his teeth every day. At least with toothpaste, that is.

    I know, I know. You're all thinking, "What? Then how is she going to tell us about teeth brushing sensory style?" I'm going to tell you what I learned from my son's pediatric dentist, and his oral hygienist whom happens to have an autistic niece.

Teeth Brushing Sensory Style

    Okay, we all know that dentists recommend we brush our teeth at LEAST twice per day. However, when you have an autistic child with sensory aversions, that isn't always possible. 

    He gags. He vomits. He spits the toothpaste out. It's been years of trying every toothpaste on the market before we found just ONE he could tolerate. But he can only use it at night. In the morning he still vomits.

    Liam's eleven, and he just had his first cavity. After they filled it, they sealed his molars because he grinds his teeth all the time. I was speaking to his hygienist about our brushing struggles. He told me that toothpaste isn't a big deal.

    "As long as you can get him to brush and floss, he will be fine."

    It seems that the brushing and flossing is what gets all that nasty food and plaque off our teeth and from our gums. 

But What Kind of Toothbrush Should They Use?

    This was another expensive trial and error process. The brush can't be too big, or too "brushy." I swear, my kid is like the three bears of tooth brushing! Basically, your kid should use any toothbrush that he or she can tolerate. 

    We have found two types of brushes that he can tolerate. One is by WooBamboo and it's designed for "small dogs." Yes, I let my son use a dog's toothbrush. But hey, the dog has never used it! 

    HE loves it because it's quite small, and the front bristles are longer, and they really get in there and clean well. If he's brushing, I'm not complaining and I don't care what the brush is recommended for. If they made a Yeti brush, and he liked it, I'd buy it! 

    The other type of brush he loves are the cylindrical ones. The bristles actually go all the way around the brush. So it's 360 degrees of bristles! They are really neat, and it even says on the package that they're great for using with or without toothpaste. 

What About Flossing?

    If you're an autism parent, you know the struggle with fine motor skills. My son can not wrap floss around his fingers and get into his mouth. So I buy him those handy dandy floss pics. He can grasp them and getting him to floss isn't a fight. 

    This is what works for us, and you know that everyone is different. Basically, try your best to get your child to brush twice a day. Even if it is without toothpaste.

Do you live around Grove Oklahoma? If so, contact Karl Jobst DDS for your dental needs.
To learn more, check out Karl Jobst.

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