Oral Health Tips For Children With Autism

For children with autism, caring for teeth can be challenging. The sensation of brushing, opening their mouth, or laying back in a dental chair may feel uncomfortable. Every child is different! Fortunately, there are ways to make the experience less stressful. In honor of Autism Awareness Month, here are a few tips to help children with autism care for their teeth.

Oral Health Tips:

  1. Choose the Right Toothbrush – Choose a toothbrush that is the right size for your child’s mouth — and make sure that the bristles are soft. This will minimize discomfort.
  2. Teach Them to “Open Wide” – Get your child used to the sensation of opening their mouth wide for brushing or for dental visits.
  3. Show Them How to Brush – Stand behind your child with their head on your chest. Then, you can guide the brush as if you were brushing your own teeth. If your child is uncomfortable doing this in the bathroom, try brushing their teeth on the couch or bed — wherever they feel the most comfortable.
  4. Introduce Flossing – Again, place your child’s head on your chest and floss as if it were your own teeth.
  5. Use a Timer – For some children, using a timer can help making tooth brushing simple, as they can see when the task will be over.
  6. Use Visual Supports – If your child benefits from visual supports and schedules, take photographs of the steps on how to brush your teeth. Print them and create a visual for your child. You can also create a schedule that they can check off after the activities occur.
  7. Reward Them For a Job Well Done – If your child benefits from verbal praise — reward them after each step!

We are proud to announce our support for the Nassau/Suffolk Autism Society of America this month. During your next visit to our office, donate a $1 or more — we are matching all donations 1:1. We are also giving an extra dollar for each NEW LIKE or FOLLOWER we get on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels. Learn more about how you can get involved on our blog.

Adelberg Montalvan specializes in caring for children’s teeth in a comfortable and welcoming environment, in three different Long Island locations: Massapequa Park, Nesconset and West Islip. If you are in need of a local pediatric dentist and/or orthodontist that treats young children with special needs, look no further! Our doctors are specially trained in providing dental health care for children with autism. Contact us today to learn more.