Ethan

Brushing Teeth – Small Steps Amazing Achievements

Ethan has major sensory issues with his mouth, he will not let you put anything into it and if you ask him to show you his teeth he locks his mouth shut. I think it has always been an issue for Ethan but it was really highlighted when he had tonsillitis and he is now scared of any doctor. A doctors appointment will always end with Ethan having to be pinned down, and it isn’t fun!

So trying to get Ethan to brush his teeth has always been a nightmare. I realised, after reading books on autism, that Ethan probably found mint toothpaste overpowering. I also got advice from another mum suggesting trying an electric toothbrush, I was very lucky and was able to get a Jake and the Neverland Pirates one in the Disney store sale.

So armed with his new toothbrush and strawberry flavoured ice cream toothpaste we have slowly and surely been able to get this toothbrush up to Ethan’s mouth. It really was very slow progress but I was even able to get Ethan to hold the toothbrush in the water and then put it up to his mouth.

 

 

 

After taking these photos in April Ethan decided that he didn’t want to use his hands anymore and wouldn’t hold the toothbrush. Thankfully with fantastic advice from his key worker suggesting that we need to hold his elbow and guide his arm, we are now back at this stage. 
 
For Ethan its all really about sucking the water off of the toothbrush and he won’t let us anywhere near any of his other teeth, which is a great concern. We have also noticed that over the past few weeks he is letting us move the brush around his front teeth just a little bit more, I hoping this will progress so that we can get to his back teeth. I’m sure this will take years but at least we are making progress.  

 

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9 Comments

  • Orli D

    Okay, brushing teeth… First of all – way to go! Great Achievement!
    And to make you feel less alone in the whole teeth thing – Ron, that’s my 8 years old, agreed to stop using the strawberries flavoured toothpaste LAST MONTH. It took us this long to convince him that mint won’t kill him.
    My very good dentist in Israel assured me that brushing teeth at that age is more for practice than anything else, so you know, as long as he doesn’t eat sweets and drink coke every day, there is not much to worry about there. So any progress is good progress, and if you get to his whole mouth by the time he gets adult teeth you’re golden 🙂
    Also, after Ron had his surgery and couldn’t brush his teeth (don’t ask, but it wasn’t related to not brushing, because unlike Yon, he actually likes brushing), we bought him fruit-flavoured mouth wash, so he at least had that. If you are worried, you can maybe give it a go. He liked it, but I have to admit I’ve never tried it with Yon…
    And last, I hate it when they master something, and then suddenly it disappear. We have it with Yon, and it drives me crazy… I know it shouldn’t but it does. So I am so happy for you that you managed to get Ethan back to holding his own brush. Yon won’t. We have to do it for him…
    Why is it I always have the feeling when i finish commenting that though I really did intend to help and comfort, i ended up making things worse?!
    Great achievement! x

  • mummywifewoman

    Wow Well done Ethan!
    I feel your pain though on the teeth front (and back). Bruiser thankfully has got over his dislike of teeth brushing now and will open up and let us in there and get to the back. He actually likes the mint flavour though and the mintier the better. It took a while though so hang in there. You are all doing great! xx

  • sabrina montagnoli

    I hardly see my wee man’s back teeth so I can only imagine your struggle. So glad he is making this small step and crossing fingers you will see those back teeth one day!

  • premmeditations

    Wow. Go Ethan and go you! A small step, but definitely in the right direction. Boo seems to be developing sensory issues, too. And I worry about his teeth. I struggle to brush them. Being premmie also puts him at risk of enamel probs. Sigh. But this is positive stuff from the lovely Ethan. Here’s to more steps in the right direction!

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