How A General Dentist Can Help You Get Your Special Needs Child To Brush More

1 July 2019
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

One of the biggest challenges you face, as a parent of a special needs child, is getting your child to brush his/her teeth. It may sometimes feel like a battle or a wrestling match, yet your child's teeth are very important to speech and language and being able to eat and chew. If you feel terrible about trying to coax or hold onto your child just to brush a few teeth for a few seconds, there is hope. Ask a general dentist for advice, particularly a dentist who has some experience in this area. He or she may recommend a unique toothbrush, such as one of the following, to get your child interested in better oral hygiene and to develop better dental care habits. 

The Two-Minute, Talking and/or Singing Toothbrush

Kids, even special needs kids, gravitate toward noise. They love to hear inanimate objects and toys talk, because the voices are funny or surprising. Even kids on the autism spectrum are more likely to listen to something talking to them than to listen to a parent or sibling talking to them. That is where these talking and/or singing toothbrushes come in handy. Not only does your child associate brushing teeth with playtime and a funny character voice singing and talking to him/her, but each of these brushes is on a two-minute timer, which is the same length of time that a dentist recommends that everyone brush their teeth. 

The All-Angles Triple-Headed Brush

If you can only get your child to brush a single surface of each tooth, then it might be worth it to consider this toothbrush. It has three angled brush heads in one. When your child uses it to brush the undersides of his/her teeth, the fronts and backs of every tooth are brushed as well. It does feel a little weird, so some kids (particularly those on the autism spectrum) might not be willing to use it. Others might enjoy the funny sensation of having all sides of their teeth brushed at the same time. 

The Retainer-Shaped/Styled Vibrating Toothbrush

This is the perfect brush for kids that will not sit still long enough to brush their teeth and hate brushing all sides. It has an attached vibration motor that is controlled by a single button. The "brush" head is u-shaped, with bristles on the top and bottom. When the brush head is inserted into the mouth like a retainer, it embraces all sides of the teeth on both the top and bottom of the jaws. The toothpaste goes into the channels in the brush head and the vibration action acts as a sonic brush, brushing every tooth. It only requires thirty seconds to brush all of your child's teeth.

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