TIP of the WEEK: Good Dental Hygiene

March 28, 2014

Starting and maintaining proper oral hygiene is essential for your child’s health. Rumination, thick and sticky saliva and sensory issues all lead to the possibility of poor dental hygiene. Cavities, gingivitis, and other gum disease have a direct negative effect on overall health especially in older individuals. Teaching and maintaining good oral habits at a young age will have lasting and positive results and will directly impact your child’s good health. Here are some tips for fostering good dental habits:

  • 1. If your child appears fearful or especially resistant to tooth brushing consider getting an evaluation from an OT to address sensory needs. The sound of running water, the temperature of the water, the feeling of bristles in their mouth all may be sensory overload and can be successfully addressed.
  • 2. Establish and stick to a routine. For several years you may need to brush your child’s teeth until you feel that they have the stamina and coordination to do so for themselves. Even after the busiest of days or the most hectic mornings, don’t skip this routine. Skipping because it is easier just sends the message that this particular task isn’t that important. This is the opposite of what you are trying to teach.
  • 3. If your child ruminates try sugar free gum after meals or sour candy spray. Both can sometimes discourage rumination because it is more rewarding to have the taste of gum or candy in their mouths.
  • 4. Let your child make their own toothpaste. There are loads of simple recipes online and your son or daughter may be more likely to use it if they make it themselves.

Whatever the issue, good dental hygiene is crucial to overall good health and habits need to start early. We would love to hear your suggestions for making this sometimes grueling daily chore happen!

Submitted by:
Patrice Carroll
Manager of PWS Services

Related Posts:
Dental Issues with PWS
Sensory Integration

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