So you bought the kiddie friendly toothbrush in the shape of Shrek and the kiddie friendly toothpaste that the adverts promised, “no child could resist.” Then why does your child with Autism run from the bathroom every time he sees the tooth brush?
Its not that our children have a phobia of toothbrushes, its that they do not want the fight that often times happens once the tooth brush appears. You want to help your child not get a cavity, they want to avoid being held down while a tooth brush is being prised into their mouths.
1. Think, ” I want my child to love brushing his own teeth, and to want to do it, versus just getting it done tonight.”
2. “My child is more likely to entertain the thought of brushing his own teeth if I give him control.”
3.”If I keep doing the same thing, I will keep getting the same result.”
4. Stop forcing the toothbrush into his mouth, and focus on making that toothbrush friendly and inviting to him, so he stops associating the toothbrush with a fight.
5. Get a bunch of toothbrushes and put them in your playroom, keep one in your top pocket, and start playing tooth brushing games.
6.If your child likes to be tickled, try tickling him with the tooth brush.
7.Brush the teddies teeth, play pretend dentist, where your child is the dentist, and you and the teddies or figurines are the patients.
8. Play super hero, where the super power comes from brushing your teeth. Once you brush your teeth you can fly, or have super human strength.
9. During these games encourage your child to touch and befriend the tooth brush. Cheering him when he does.
10.During the games, always give control, let your child know, that no means no, if they do not want to touch the toothbrush or want it to go away, you will put it away immediately. Then after a while, lets say a hour later you can re – introduce it in a fun and exciting way.
11. Once your child realized they do really have control they most likely will open themselves up to exploring the act of tooth brushing, because they know they can stop it at any time.
Have fun and let go!