How to get your child with autism to brush their teeth

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!

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2 responses to “How to get your child with autism to brush their teeth

  1. this made me smile

  2. Socorro Gonzalez

    I just found your site today I enjoyed reading and browsing thru it. I will continue to read it as often as time permits. My son, Josman is 14 years old and has autism. We tried to play a racing game. At first when he was little I would place toothpaste on his brush and would say ready set go………I would then flip the minute sand glass. Josman really enjoyed racing against the sand glass and would complete brushing his teeth just in time to barely see the last salt grains drop to the bottom. Maybe this will help someone. Best of luck

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