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Extreme oral defensiveness and teeth brushing

Forum: Children with Developmental Delays and Disorders


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October 31st, 2007, 01:05 PM
fiefer87's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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My dd is 5 and she has extreme oral tactile defensiveness. Its so bad that she has a feeding disorder. She doesn't know how to chew, has extreme difficulty with any higher textures (above finely chopped table food), and will gag, vomit, or spit out food that is to textured. We are working on this with her OT and a feeding clinic.

She also has a lot of difficulties with teeth brushing. She screams and fights, refuses to open her mouth, clamps her teeth on the tooth brush, and its just a mess. We see the dentist every 3 months to help with this and to really try and prevent any cavities. They didn't have any other suggestions that we haven't tried, so I was wondering if any other moms have dealt with something similar and could give me some ideas on what to do.

Oh, she will independently brush her top front 4 teeth, but nothing else, and will do all those things listed above if you try to brush anything other than those 4 teeth. Any advice would be appreciated.
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October 31st, 2007, 06:49 PM
Tammyjh's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I wish I had some advice for you. My dd is sensitive to certain foods and does not like to chew foods that are too tough...will not and never had eaten meat. I gave up trying in that area. She also doesn't not like a lot of spicy foods so her diet is very bland.

As far as teeth brushing goes, it used to be a struggle every night to get her teeth cleaned because she hated the brushing part and she hated the toothpaste. She ended up getting a really bad cavity and the dentist had to put her under general anesthesia to fill it because he didn't dare do any work on her in the office. As she got older, tooth brushing time became easier and she now does it on her own but if I'm not watching her, she doesn't do a very thorough job. I know you don't want her getting cavities and I think its great that the dentist will see her so often. I don't know, we just struggled through it but my dd doesn't seem to have had as much of a problem with it as yours. Wishing you the best and hoping that with the therapy she's recieving, she'll eventually become a little less sensitive.
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November 2nd, 2007, 01:13 PM
fiefer87's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Thats another reason why her dentist wants to see her every 3 months. They do not want her to get cavities, because it will be general anesthesia to get it fixed. The down side is our ins. only covers visits every 6 months, so we pay for 2 visits a year, but I know some don't even have dental ins. so paying for 2 is better than paying for 4. Its just so frustrating sometimes.
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December 6th, 2007, 11:19 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 52
I don't know if this is going to be a double post... sorry

Have you tried

Finger brushes
NUK brushes
Musical toothbrushes
Different bristles (soft, med, hard)
Gauze to wipe the gunk off
Singing the alphabet each time to show her progress and encourage her to go a letter further each time
With out toothpaste, just water
Different flavored toothpaste

Hope one of those are a new option to try!

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January 7th, 2008, 09:27 PM
snowflake.girl's Avatar Member
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I am new here but I was really happy to see this thread. My dd is very similar, although does not eat any solid foods whatsoever; she relies solely on PediaSure for her nutrition.

She also has a very strong oral defensiveness. She developed this around the time she got thrush when she was 6.5 months old. Since then she has stopped eating solid foods and does not let anything get near her mouth.

She has weekly appointments with the Child Development Center and we continue working with sensory toys, and other ways to introduce her to new textures and whatnot.
Oddly enough, she has no issues with putting things in to her mouth that are in no relation to food.

We are currently waiting to get in to the feeding clinic, which may happen in March according to our infant development therapists.

We have tried normal soft bristled baby toothbrushes, the finger brush, swipes, and different flavors of toothpaste.

She has a pediatric dentist, but just saw him in October for the first time. He wanted to see her again in 6 months but that would take us to March and I am concerned about waiting that long.
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January 9th, 2008, 08:40 AM
fiefer87's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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If you haven't checked out my other post to your thread in special needs children, my dd does not chew. She stopped eating solids at the time she was 11 months old and did not eat them again until she was 2 years. She was on stage 2 baby foods until she was 5 years old. Just this past year (March 07) were we able to get her onto ground table food and we are slowly working our way onto chopped food, but we still have to teach her to chew. In regards to getting her to eat solids, she had an OT that would see her 3x a week and would work on feeding. We used yogurt and she just randomly started eating it off a spoon. About 2 weeks before that, I was able to get her to start eating yogurt off my finger.

Have you tried putting yogurt or baby fruits, something sweet that she would like on her toys or solid surfaces she does put in her mouth? That was one of the suggestions we got, but did not work for us as my dd did not put anything in her mouth, and I mean nothing, not even her fingers. The thought behind this was she would taste it on her toys, like it and continue to eat it and gradually you would work her onto a spoon. If you have any questions at all please feel free to pm me.
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January 10th, 2008, 01:35 PM
leslie_dawn's Avatar Veteran
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Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 251
I can't really offer much help to the because we haven't encountered it. We just deal with the basic tooth brushing temper tantrums that I assume to be typical (a fight once every week or two, or claiming he's not doing it any more) with 3 years olds. I just wanted to wish you luck. And it sounds like she is progressing, slowly but sure...hope it keeps up!
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February 15th, 2008, 07:00 PM
outnumbered's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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We had this problem with my now 10 year old son with autism. He would only brush the front teeth and that's it. We got him an electric toothbrush (Oral B with the small round head). Electric so the rubbing action wasn't bothering him and the small head so it didn't take up a lot of room in his mouth. He chooses his toohpaste, not me, but he is older now. Before then, I used the training gel that tasted good well past the training days.
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April 13th, 2008, 09:24 PM
Little Mrs Sunshine
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besides the eating problems that sounds a lot like my son. im at a loss how to get his teeth brushed, hair brushed, or outside of his ears cleaned without all the tears
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