Teaching your child good oral habits such as brushing and flossing can be difficult. When your child experiences sensory challenges, however, it can be downright problematic.
There are things you can do to make the experience less daunting for them and less stressful for you. Here are some tips on helping your child with sensory differences build good dental habits.
Find the Right Toothbrush
Some kids feel uncomfortable when the toothbrush touches their gum tissue, so finding the softest brush possible will help. Bristles made of silicone are very soft and can prove to be less irritating for your child. Sometimes using a baby toothbrush to help them acclimate to the feeling of the bristles is helpful.
Some kids enjoy the vibrations from an electric brush or the songs from a musical brush. You may have to try a few different brushes before you find your winner, but be sure to persevere.
Try Different Toothpastes
Experimenting with different toothpaste flavors may help your child acclimate to brushing. For some kids, flavors like mint or cinnamon are too overpowering. You can look for fruit or bubblegum flavors or maybe your child would prefer no flavor at all.
Sometimes the foam from the toothpaste can cause sensory overload, so be sure to determine which aspects of the toothpaste are the culprits. You can find flavorless and foam-free toothpastes on the market designed for kiddos with sensory issues.
Lead by Example
Brush your teeth with your child, or let them watch you brush and floss. The more they see you doing it, the more interesting it becomes, and they'll want to do it as well. You can also include a timer in your routine to ensure that you and your child are brushing for the full two minutes.
At Oak Family Dental, our goal is to make your child's experience at the dentist the best it can be! We know this is important for setting up your child for successful visits in the future. We're happy to work with your child if they have sensory issues, and our doctors can offer more helpful tips for making brushing and flossing a happy time for your child.
For excellent pediatric dentistry in Metairie, give us a call today to schedule your child's next visit.