Autism Spectrum Disorders have an impact on toothbrushing
- Developmental disorders can make learning to brush more difficult.
- Sometimes psychiatric disorders, such as depression, anxiety or sleep problems, can interfere with tooth brushing.
- Behavioural disorders (hyperactivity, self-harm) make it difficult to brush teeth and prevent practitioners from performing regular follow-ups.
- Some self-stimulation can damage the mouth or teeth, such as chewing hard objects.
- Sensory hypersensitivity / hyposensitivity can cause difficulties in expressing pain and difficulties in expressing taste sensitivity (texture, temperature, etc.)
- Psychiatric treatment has side effects, such as poor salivation, swollen gums and may affect pain expression.
- Behavioural methods and special diets can lead to hyper sugar consumption and/or a deficit in ions (fluorine, calcium...) which directly impact the oro-facial sphere.
Adapting to autism
For children with disabilities, you may have to adapt, relax the rules and find a balance between what you need to do in an ideal situation and what you can achieve depending on the disability. Providing dental care for people with autism can be difficult.
- If the child is really struggling to brush, one minute is better than none, although two minutes is recommended for brushing.
- If he doesn't brush perfectly from top to bottom on each side of the teeth, but goes back and forth from left to right, that's good enough.
- If he brushes his teeth only once a day, it's better than nothing.
Making it easier to brush the teeth of a child with autism with the right toothbrush (Y-Brush)
It is recommended to use a "Y-Brush" toothbrush for children for its effectiveness. Indeed, it reduces brushing time (brushes all teeth simultaneously in only 10 seconds) and removes more plaque than an electric/manual toothbrush.
Your child no longer needs to use an intrusive toothbrush for 2 long minutes... You won't have to go back to brushing again.
At the next consultation, your dentist will be able to observe a clear improvement in oral hygiene. Much less plaque, healthier gums and teeth!
Tip: Buy her the fun and cute "Fox" toothpaste adapter that will help her apply toothpaste to her brush in the best possible way.