Page 1 of 1 [ 15 posts ] 

BrookeBC
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 6 Dec 2009
Age: 41
Gender: Female
Posts: 73

08 Dec 2009, 12:27 pm

My daughter, just under 3 hates having her teeth brushed. I've resorted to having to pin down her arms and legs and brush them while she full out screams, its traumatic for both of us. I've tried a variety of toothbrushes and toothpastes but she doesn't take to it. Interestingly, after brushing she wants to hold the toothbrush and will carry it around with her all day until she goes to sleep or until we replace it with a crayon.

Still very very new to this, we are on the waitlist for assessment. Not sure if this is an AS thing or not, but any advice anyone can give would be appreciated. By the way, really liking this site, finding it really useful.



08 Dec 2009, 12:35 pm

I have AS and I also hated having my teeth brushed. It could be a sensory thing. My mom also had to hold me down and be on top of me to do it. She just ignored my screaming and did it. My teeth were more important than my screaming. Don't feel bad.



BrookeBC
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 6 Dec 2009
Age: 41
Gender: Female
Posts: 73

08 Dec 2009, 12:56 pm

:) That makes me feel better. Do you know of any books I can read to learn more on AS? I'm brand new, its a whole new world :)



ouinon
Supporting Member
Supporting Member

User avatar

Joined: 10 Jul 2007
Age: 56
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,939
Location: Europe

08 Dec 2009, 1:25 pm

Try brushing without any toothpaste ( it's a lot better than nothing, and less traumatic than doing it by force ). That's what I have done for decades, and my 10 year old PDD/AS son does too.

Just wet the brush under cool/cold running water at the beginning and after every ( keep them short ) "section" of scrubbing, ( the "front", the "left side top" etc ), and that seems to keep the sensory-horribleness down to a bearable level.

.



DW_a_mom
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 22 Feb 2008
Age: 61
Gender: Female
Posts: 10,998
Location: Northern California

08 Dec 2009, 1:49 pm

I do think its sensory and we've had the same issues with our son. Now that he is 12 we don't pin him down anymore, of course - just lots of lecturing ;)

We've been lucky in that our son happens to have a decent balance of bacteria and enamel that seem to keep cavities from forming. But he is at severe risk for gum disease that will cause him MORE problems than cavities in the long run, and he knows this. The dentist diagnosed him with gingivitis at his last visit, and that knowledge managed to improve his brushing efforts for a few weeks.

Eventually your daughter will have to take responsibility for her own oral health - or lack of it - on her own. But until she's old enough, I don't see that you have a whole lot of alternatives to the current method. I hated it to, and I think it carries side effects we may not even know, but sometimes there are no good choices.

Still, keep looking for them. We did have some temporary success with a couple of tricks, so I'll describe them, but they always wore off :(

One is using a timer. It gives them something to focus on and watch, and a sense of how long to brush.

Another is to sing and brush together. I turned a Wiggles song into a brushing song: "you can, move your hips and brush your teeth ... brush the very back, brush behind the teeth, brush the big grin spots, get everywhere there could be rot! You can, move your hips and brush your teeth."


_________________
Mom to an amazing AS son, who recently graduated from the university (plus an also amazing non-AS daughter). Most likely part of the "Broader Autism Phenotype" (some traits).


Climber
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 2 Sep 2007
Gender: Male
Posts: 70

08 Dec 2009, 2:04 pm

It is possible that your daughter has an anxiety over teeth brushing. It could be terrifying to her.

If I tossed an entire bucket full of tarantulas into a closet, would you stand in that closet with the door closed for five minutes?

That's anxiety.

It might be worth doing some simple exercises to see if she is afraid of toothpaste, or afraid of the toothbrush, or simply afraid of having something like that in her mouth. Will SHE put toothpaste in her mouth with her finger? Will SHE put the toothbrush in her mouth without toothpaste? Will SHE put a toothbrush in her mouth that has had all the bristles removed? Don't be demanding about it. Be calm. Be patient. Be happy, and do each exercise at very different times.

All this may sound silly, but anxieties can develop over some of the most ordinary things.

Good luck.



Wedge
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Age: 37
Gender: Male
Posts: 984
Location: Rendezvous Point

08 Dec 2009, 2:13 pm

I read that sensory problems can be really bad. I read this from Gillberg's:

"Dental hygiene can also be a major problem. Some children with Asperger syndrome have such severe perceptual problems relating to the gums and mucous membranes of the mouth that tooth brushing is experienced almost as though the nerve ends themselves were being brushed."

But he does not say how to solve the problem. Also it might be some thing other than sensory problems. You might have to go to a dentist to ask for advice on this.

I search for some tips on the net. Here they are.
I don't know if you've tried battery-run spin brushes the child might like this. She might be interested in its sound and noises. Try toothbrushes that play music light up, or are decorated with your child favourite character. Try take turns also brushing your teeth. Try to make it a routine and brush her teeth at the same time other family members do it cause children might be interested in what other family members are doing. Try to brush a Teddy bear or favourite doll to demostrate tooth brushing so it will be entretaing and educational at the same time. Try to make the process fun. Try showing some pictures so she can learn how to brush tooth visually. Try letting her choose her own toothbrush and toothpaste. Try brushing games. Try singing a song while brushing her teeth. Let her see you while you are brushing your teeth so she can learn how to do it. Maybe she will try to mimic what you are doing.



BrookeBC
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 6 Dec 2009
Age: 41
Gender: Female
Posts: 73

08 Dec 2009, 2:36 pm

Great advise, thanks everyone. Some of the suggestions I've just been doing naturally, like singing while we're brushing. I'll try the exercises suggested :) I think its a good sign that own her own she'll put the toothbrush in her mouth and suck of the toothpaste, and is always interested when I brush my teeth. We just seem to break down when we to the actual brushing part and then you got to do what you got to do.



Eekee
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Age: 42
Gender: Female
Posts: 47

08 Dec 2009, 2:51 pm

We've had this issue with both our boys. It's helped getting them brushes that are very small. We also got the kind that light up for one minute, so it's a game to get all the food off their teeth before the light goes out. I'll tell them, "I see a noodle back there," to get to the back teeth, until the minute is up. I still have to do the brushing, because they'll just swish around their front teeth and be done, but at least they let me do it.


_________________
~Erica
Mom to Chris (6, newly diagnosed with AS) and Matthew (3, receiving OT for SPD)


pumpknmom
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 6 Dec 2009
Age: 50
Gender: Female
Posts: 25
Location: Massachusetts

08 Dec 2009, 7:50 pm

I don't have much to add to this, except that my daughter did that too with the toothbrushing when she was 2 or 3. We used to brush with just water, no toothpaste, like others have suggested. Now she's 6, we can use kid's flouride toothpaste, and she will brush on her own as well as letting us do it. So, your daughter may outgrow it eventually. We went from brushing with water, to brushing with toddler (no flouride) toothpaste, to brushing with flouride toothpaste.



InvaderMeer
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 7 Dec 2009
Age: 33
Gender: Female
Posts: 29

08 Dec 2009, 11:20 pm

I wouldn't brush my teeth without a fight either because the toothpaste burned and stung. My mom said it was because it was killing the germs but then how come it did not burn her? It also burned my lips. She eventualy let me use water and baking soda or toddler toothpaste until Tom's of Maine came around. The taste of baking soda did not bother me as much as the sting of regualr toothpaste.



RampionRampage
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 3 Feb 2008
Age: 36
Gender: Female
Posts: 743
Location: Greater Philly Area, PA

08 Dec 2009, 11:53 pm

Wedge wrote:
I read that sensory problems can be really bad. I read this from Gillberg's:

"Dental hygiene can also be a major problem. Some children with Asperger syndrome have such severe perceptual problems relating to the gums and mucous membranes of the mouth that tooth brushing is experienced almost as though the nerve ends themselves were being brushed..



This explains so much. My mom and dentist always gave me a hard time about how sensitive I am. I'm planning to go to Dream Dentistry (http://www.dream-dentistry.com/) to get a check up for the first time in years. They'll sedate you for pretty much any procedure (after a consultation, of course).
That is the Quakertown, PA site but as far as I can tell it is a chain.


_________________
As of 2-06-08 --- Axis I: Asperger's Disorder | Axis III: Hearing Impaired
My store: http://www.etsy.com/rampionrampage


PenguinMom
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

User avatar

Joined: 30 Oct 2009
Age: 42
Gender: Female
Posts: 322

09 Dec 2009, 10:31 am

My daughter has never let us brush her teeth, but she has always been very good about brushing them herself. Fear, with her, is also a great motivator. Once she saw my husband's fillings, and he explained that that's what happens to little children who don't brush their teeth, not only does she brush but she drags him into the bathroom to supervise him! :D



Nightsun
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Sep 2009
Age: 38
Gender: Male
Posts: 567
Location: Rome - Italy

10 Dec 2009, 4:34 am

We use a "green apple" flavour tooth paste, my daughter loves it. (The brushing is a bit more difficult). We are trying to make her learn to do it from herself, sensory issue are far less important if SHE DO the things.


_________________
Planes are tested by how well they fly, not by comparing them to birds.


skeeterbug13
Emu Egg
Emu Egg

User avatar

Joined: 12 Aug 2009
Gender: Female
Posts: 6

10 Dec 2009, 1:45 pm

I set up a little had mirror with a stand, as he likes to look at himself. This seems to have help extend the amount of time he will brush.