How's your child with brushing their teeth? Are they really good about it? Do they just take that toothbrush, brush their teeth independently, floss and do it all with a smile?
Yeah, I didn't think so.
Toothbrushing can be a fight with any kid, but for kids with visual impairments (and often multiple disabilities), toothbrushing can become a real battle.
We were having trouble getting our son to brush his teeth so I asked my friends for advice. And they really came through!
Below are more fun (and ingenious ideas) from my great group of supportive friends:
- Come up with a good toothbrushing song. We like Raffi's Brush Your Teeth. It's fun and let's them know it's time for the toothbrush!
- Electronic toothbrushes are great! They vibrate, which can be really exciting for some kids, plus they do some of the brushing for you!
- You can also find toothbrushes that play music or light up while your child brushes. They are timed so they know how long they're supposed to brush for.
- Try different flavored toothpaste. We like strawberry!
- If you're trying to encourage independent brushing be sure to get a toothbrush that your child can hold comfortably and that fits well in their mouth so brushing is easier.
- Experiment with ways to make the process simpler for your child. If getting the toothpaste on the toothbrush is difficult because of a visual impairment, how about placing the toothpaste in the mouth first then brushing?
- Looking for brushing accessories to make the process easier? You probably already know about floss toothpicks, but what about a surround toothbrush (with bristles that surround the teeth and brush front and back at the same time) or a mouth rest (that helps to hold the mouth open while you brush)?
- One thing we've found (and I think this is true for all kids!) is that what worked for a while stopped working and we had to find a new trick. The more tricks you have up your sleeve, the more successful you will be in establishing a consistent habit!
- Praise, begging, persistence...that's how we get it done!
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