I have received a few emails and Twitter messages recently asking how we have successfully helped our 5-year-old son get into the habit of brushing his teeth on a nightly basis.
At the start it was pretty difficult–he didn’t like the brush in his mouth, he didn’t like the taste of toothpaste, he was either in pain or just didn’t like it.
We made it a treat. We made it a game. We came up with a catchy song that we sing while he’s brushing so that he knows when it’s time to flip the toothbrush and when it’s time to spit.
If you’ve ever seen the movie “Grease” you’ll recognize the song…here it goes…
“Brush-a, brush-a, brush-a…William’s brushing his teeeeeeeeth, brush-a, brush-a, brush-a William’s brushing is teeeeeeeeeeth….brush-a, brush-a, brush-a, brushbrushbrushbrush…aaaaaah!”
It goes something like that…it’s a routine. It’s now a game and a treat and it’s really helped.
Again, no child with autism is the same–but give it a try. Give them the toothbrush to play with and get comfortable with. Come up with a song and sing it every time you brush teeth and they will come to expect it.
Hope that helps…if not, it’ll give you an excuse to watch Olivia Newton John in her prime and greatness!