Anyone in the world of Autism knows that, teeth can be a major issue, whether it's brushing them or going to the dentist, it can be a massive sensory overload for some.
Getting my son to brush for two minutes, the recommended time was virtually impossible and for a long time he used a baby toothpaste as he didn't seem to like the strong mint flavour of the adult ones. It still poses a battle now but this week I took him along for an assessment with a dentist to discuss different methods of anaesthesia. He has to have two baby teeth that have remained stuck, afraid to drop out for the tooth fairy.....I know, my son has worked out that there's money lying right there in his gums so he is quite keen for them to come out.
The dentist was good with my son, asked him many many questions which he got fed up with answering but I could see the dentist was wanting to see how much he understood and getting to know what his limits were. A quick check of the teeth, which he does tolerate quite well, as long as it's quick, and the dentist had come to a conclusion. We had all ruled out a general anaesthetic a while back as it is literally a two minute job but they need to make sure he feels relaxed so it was recommended that he would have some 'happy gas'. This made me chuckle because if you mention the word happy, my son automatically launches into a rendition of the song 'Happy' by Pharrell Williams, yep a dance and everything. We took that as if the happy gas may well get the green light, as long as your 'happy you can clap along if you feel like a room with without a roof' ya see that song is just infectious......
We have yet to try a little happy gas as he needs a clear nose and having just had a cold he was to congested to try some. That will be our next adventure in a few weeks so I'll keep you posted.
As for tips on brushing, we did eventually manage to move my Happy Chappy to an adult toothpaste and he seems to have settled with the Colgate Triple Action, it is just a matter of going through different varieties and seeing which suits.
We also found an app by Aquafresh called 'Brush Time' which is brilliant to encourage brushing. It gives tips on how to brush and you can set a character to sing and dance for the two minutes you need to be brushing. There are opportunities to unlock more music, dances and characters if you continue to brush every day. We were dancing around brushing teeth for quite a while, it made it fun and achievable. Its visual and stimulating for all children and they forget what they are having to do because the chore of brushing teeth has just turned into a groovy game. I found that brushing teeth together made a difference as my son could see that it wasn't just an order he had to adhere to but he could see that it was important that I brushed my teeth as well. There are probably more apps available but we found this one to be a good one.
If you have any top tips please leave your suggestions in the comments as it's always good to pass these ideas onto others who may be struggling. For now though, hope your week has been good. Catch you tomorrow for 'Pass the Remote......my round up of the tv for the week.
Every Saturday will be about Autism, family and life.