We constantly hear from parents about the struggle with teeth-brushing. This is quite an invasive task for a child with sensory challenges, and can actually be quite uncomfortable for children with tactile/sensory over-responsivity. Here are a few tips to try and make the experience more comfortable and effective.
- Try having your child hold the toothbrush to give them more control over the experience (You can hold hand-over-hand) to help direct the brushing.
- Have your child positioned in front of a mirror so they can see what is happening. This will help them understand the process better, and be more active in their participation.
- Use a visual timer, or even try a verbal count-down or song to help them gauge when the activity will be complete
- Use a visual strip to help your child know the sequence of steps to the task of teeth-brushing. See example here: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/89/b2/d4/89b2d403d2bec4f1aa3628af036ada23.jpg
- Try a vibrating toothbrush to see if your child likes the sensory input. (Note: this may not be for everyone!)
- Consider using a Triple-Sided toothbrush to make brushing more effective. These brushes will contact all sides of your child’s teeth, and better coverage with each stroke, making the process quicker. These can be hard to find, but WiggleKids usually has these in stock!
*As always, please always consult with your healthcare professional for a customized plan for your child.