As a parent of an autistic child the simplest of tasks can be a serious challenge. Teeth brushing is often one of the most common, as autistic children tend to be hypersensitive, they feel things differently a to non autistic developing child. Tastes, smells and textures can be overwhelming and lead to meltdowns, often unexpected and severe.
We talk to a lot of parents who have suffered with frustration and anguish at not being able to make tooth brushing a positive experience, some even going so far as to having to restrain their child in the name of dental hygiene.
This is not good for either your child or you. When we developed Fuzzy Brush we hadn’t considered the benefits it can have for autistic children, but over the years our research has shown that it can be the perfect stepping stone, bridging the gap between brushing and not brushing.
We know that (particularly in severe cases) autistic children like to chew, whether it’s clothes or objects around them. The Fuzzy Brush encourages this, whilst at the same time gives you the peace of mind that your child’s dental care is taken care of.
We suggest that parents use the Fuzzy Brush themselves initially, in a calm safe environment. This will show your child that it’s ok and fun to do. Once they get the hang of it you can be confident that the initial dental struggles are behind you. It may take a couple of days for your child to get the hang of it but it’s very much worth persevering with.
Once your child is accustomed to using a Fuzzy Brush then it may be time to re-introduce a conventional toothbrush again making it part of play or in a “safe place”.
As you will have seen from the site, the Fuzzy Brush is approved by dentists and contains the natural sweeter Xylitol. Whilst we wouldn’t encourage parents to only use Fuzzy Brush we do know that this is a great interim measure to helping you and your child move forward with dental care.
5 Tips to successful transition
When moving back to a conventional toothbrush, here are our 5 tips to easing the process for you both.
- Let your child do the bulk of the brushing, initially don’t worry about the results, this will empower your child and make them feel more in control.
- Try a rewards system but use a star chart rather than sweet rewards!
- Find a silly song to sing whilst brushing, make the time fun and interactive.
- Trial different types of toothpaste and mouthwash if your child struggles with flavor and texture.
- Set a designated time and make it a routine. Explain every aspect to your child so that they understand what is going to happen.