Brushing teeth tips and tricks by Anuradha Srivastava
Brushing teeth is a long and complex sequence of actions.
I am stating core steps that can be further divided or combined according to the level of the child
*holding of toothbrush
*taking it against the gum line, plastic side out and paste side in.
*moving brush gently back and forth
*action to be perform on three surfaces of the teeth line. Inner, outer and chewing surface,
Positioning of brush accordingly
Main teaching methods for brushing are-
1.Modeling. Imitation and physical prompts.
2.Visual clues can be used according to the childs understanding.
3.Show YouTube cartoon videos of brushing. 4. Brush your teeth before the child.
5.Use fingers first then introduce finger brush generally used for toddlers. Finger will help the child having tactile experience of gum line.
6.Once the child learn to massage with his finger then introduce brush but if the child has difficulties in using fingure then start with baby brush that has small face and gentle bristles.
7. I will never suggest for vibration brush but if your OT or dentist has suggested for the same I am no one to question that.
*Teach one step at a time.
For success backward Chaining is suggested for that teaching mouth rinsing will come first. For that combination of physical prompt and imitation is suggested. Instructor and child will sit accross and an assistant behind the child both instructor and child will have a bottle and spitting cup , sd will be “do this” Instructor will pour water in mouth and spit it in cup and assistant will help the child in imitating the action and gradually child will learn. Focus should be on skill not on the mess which could be cleared afterwards. And don’t overwhelm the child increase number of attempts according to the acceptance of the child.
Child will learn faster if the activity is interesting and fun. It’s ok to be silly and joyful
Persistent effort(Nirantar Prayas) is the key to success.
Brushing teeth is a sensory stimulating process and every child has his /her level of difficulties there is no set procedure but honestly in process of teaching brushing you will get to learn more about your child and each step is a lesson in itself. So be conscious student and let your child be your guide.
Author Anuradha Srivastava
Anuradha Srivastava is a mother of a Fifteen years old on Autism spectrum. She currently works in an assisted living establishment in Noida “Nirantar Prayas“.
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