As most parents know, it can be a struggle to get kids to brush their teeth properly. If your child has sensory issues, it can be even more challenging.
In this article, we’ve compiled some tips that might help you address your child’s aversion to toothbrushing. But it is also a good idea to talk to your dentist.
At our Amherst, NH practice, Dr. Kenneth G. Edward’s experience in children’s dentistry can help steer you and your child in the right direction. The goal for everyone is to ensure your child can be more independent when it comes to home oral care—and can enjoy a foundation of good oral health.
Tips for Overcoming Sensitivity to Toothbrushing
- Try a different toothbrush. Often sensitive children find the bristles—even in a soft toothbrush—uncomfortable. A baby toothbrush, which has extremely soft bristles, might help your child make the transition to a different brush. There are also toothbrushes that have three sides, which can help get the job done more quickly.
- Experiment with toothpaste flavors. Many kids find that they feel a burning sensation when they use mint toothpaste. Try one of the many kid-friendly flavors on the market today, including bubble gum, fruit, and even ice cream flavors. Some kids might even enjoy mixing and matching toothpaste flavors.
- If your child is sensitive to the foaming action of toothpaste because of a texture issue, try a non-foaming toothpaste. Ask your dentist about brands specifically made for children on the autism spectrum who have sensitivity about strong flavors, taste, and foaming.
- Have your child brush in front of the mirror to help him or her feel more in control of what they are doing.
- Change the water temperature from cold to warm or vice versa. Sometimes kids are sensitive to temperature changes.
- If it’s a real battle to get your sensitive child to brush, start small by brushing just one or two teeth at first. Work your way up to more teeth over time to help with a gradual desensitizing of the process.
If you have questions about children’s dentistry, we invite you to contact our Amherst, NH practice at any time. We would be honored if you and your family found a dental home with Dr. Edwards and his team. Give us a call today!