We all know that avoidance is better than cure. So, it is also advisable for your autistic children to adopt a regular oral routine at home. This can help preserve their excellent dental hygiene. But, due to sensitivity concerns, children with autism may avoid brushing their teeth.
This is because of their hyposensitivity and hypersensitivity. These are the two most common categories used by doctors. But, you can assist your child with developing more independence in self-care at home.
You can do this by teaching the correct information and practicing. The following techniques will assist them in developing healthy dental hygiene habits.
- Make toothbrushing part of their daily routine. Develop a reward system after every brushing session.
Visual aids and timetables can help children diagnosed with autism. It allows them to identify brushing as a daily routine. It can also assist youngsters who learn visually in completing the task.
You can specify a certain time for brushing. Or a specific location for your child’s unique supplies. It’s also beneficial to provide options like letting them choose their favorite toothbrush for the day.
To assist them, lead your child through every stage. You can include some interesting games to encourage them to participate in the brushing session. If your child completes their brushing task, give them verbal praise and a hug.
Uttering verbal encouragement or a rewards system will promote positive behavior.
- Teach your autistic child how to floss and let them choose what type of toothbrush to use.
Allow your youngster to pick his or her favorite flavor. You must also think about the correct size. Teeth that are that far apart benefit from thick floss.
Whereas teeth that are close to it enjoy it from thinner floss. If your child has trouble flossing by hand, consider using an electric or water flosser. If your child has trouble holding a conventional manual toothbrush, consider adding a foam grip to the handle.
It can make it easier for them to hold on to You may also recommend buying an electric toothbrush. It can give stimulation to your hypersensitive children. If you want to brush your child’s teeth, take turns with them.
So, they may continue to learn important skills while you serve as a backup. Also, to ensure that their teeth and gums are healthy.
- Tell them how long each brushing session will take.
Brushing their teeth for two minutes might be difficult for children. But some toothbrushes glow to indicate that brushing is over. Or create a two-minute song if possible until the session is done.
If music and lights aren’t your child’s thing, leave a bathroom timer to help them establish a regular pattern.
- Choose a suitable toothpaste and toothbrush for them.
You can make the procedure as enjoyable as possible while emphasizing its significance. Allow children to choose a toothbrush that is both distinctive and enjoyable to them. However, make sure the bristles are soft.
Regular toothbrushes, especially for children with oral sensitivity, might feel strange and unusual. Choose a toothbrush with gentle or silicone bristles instead of a standard toothbrush. These softer toothbrushes might enable your child’s mouth and gums to become less sensitive.
Small silicone bristles allow your youngster to gradually become acclimated to the sensation. Meanwhile, toothpaste comes in a variety of child-friendly tastes such as bubblegum, berry, and even vanilla ice cream. Try a colorful children’s toothpaste or other types of colorful toothpaste if your child is visual and loves playing with colors.
- Lastly, assist them with the steps of toothbrushing.
It is beneficial to place kids in front of a mirror to provide a sense of control over the situation. Put a pea-sized quantity of toothpaste on the brush and stand behind the child. Assist your kid in manipulating the brush. Show them how to carry out the following actions:
Brushing the top front teeth and the lower front teeth, including the outside, inside, and tops of the teeth, five times is recommended.
Brushing the inside, outside, and chewing surfaces of the lower and upper back teeth five times is recommended.
Then brush the middle teeth five times, including their upper and lower incisors.
And lastly, teach them how to rinse after brushing all over the exterior surfaces of their teeth.
What will happen if you just ignore your child’s oral health?
Sadly, it will lead to any gum disease and cavities mentioned below.
Overgrowth of the gums.
Tooth decay is a common problem.
Periodontal gum disease is a kind of gum disease that affects the teeth.
Bruxism is a syndrome in which a person grinds their teeth (a condition caused by constantly grinding teeth).
Teeth that are abnormal in size, shape, and the number of teeth present in the mouth.
One or more teeth erupt quickly or slowly.
Pits, discoloration, and lines on the teeth
But, I’m pretty sure you don’t want your autistic kids to experience any of those tooth and gum diseases. Well, it’s not yet too late. As concerned parents, you can still do something for your autistic child’s teeth. Try and apply those techniques as early as now!
Autistic children often absorb sensory data differently. They may be less susceptible to sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touch, or they may be too sensitive. Brushing your teeth and going to the dentist may be very taxing on the senses.
Sensory difficulties may be a major source of worry for children with autism. Individual techniques may change depending on their sensory demands and needs. Track down the source of your child’s discomfort. Discover why it is making it difficult for them to wash their teeth.
Of course, some children will suffer so much at home that professional help will be necessary. If your child will not brush his or her teeth at home, seek the assistance of a dentist. They know how to help your child develop oral hygiene practices and other important skills.