Sensory Issues with the taste of toothpaste

Arlene - posted on 02/23/2011 ( 33 moms have responded )

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I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on how to help my 8 year old son. We recently went to the dentist and even though he has no cavities, the dentist suggested that he use an adult toothpaste at least once a day because of the tartar buildup on his teeth. Everything we have tried so far makes him gag and then he throws up. He likes the watermelon flavored toothpaste, I am running out of ideas and tired of putting him through the gagging experience. Any suggestions???

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Stephani - posted on 03/02/2011

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Have you ever heard of Tooth Soap? It is an all natural product in liquid drops, gel, or 'whip' form. They come in all kinds of flavors and are mild. We love tooth soap and my teeth feel much cleaner when using this than regular tooth paste. Their website is www.toothsoap.com if you want to check it out.

We switched to tooth soap a few year ago and it's great for my son who still hates to brush his teeth, but is now tolerating it without fits and gagging.

If you are following a special diet for sensory needs, this is free of gluten, casein, and all artificial ingredients!


Stephani
http://www.nourishingjourney.com

Diane - posted on 03/06/2011

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My son (5yo autistic) really struggles with cleaning his teeth. I have found using a very small amount of toothpaste helped. But the biggest things was warming his toothbrush. I dip into warm water before placing the toothpaste on it, and he doesnt struggle as much. He says the cold toothpaste hurts his mouth. Just thought I would add this, as the coolness of the toothpaste/brush is for him as much a problem as the frothing and taste of the toothpaste.

Karen - posted on 03/01/2011

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You have good suggestions listed above to try. Let me add: I should say- the MOST important job for the teeth .. is to brush. With or without toothpaste. First

start with any flavor mentioned above. (My daughter likes sensidine). Squeeze a dab onto the index finger. Rub over all the teeth. Then, with a damp toothbrush, begin scrubbing. We use a rechargeable brush with a smaller adapter brush and with a 2 min timer. Before starting, I will give her something to focus on. For Example: I keep your ipod until your toothbrush turns off.



Toothpaste can also be diluted with water in a ziplock bag. Just add a small amount of water as needed to dilute and kneed it until mixed. Cut a very tiny corner of the bag. Rub it into the toothbrush.



The "gag" reflex can be triggered because toothpaste is dripping. If the tooth paste starts on the teeth ... the motivation is to brush it off.



Plax is a wonderful product. Gets off the tarter No need to swish. if you dip the toothbrush in the plax and start brushing with it. If its too strong, remember to dilute with water and gradually increase potency as they tolerate. Its important to brush ... toothpaste, floride, plax or ... plain waterwater. good luck.

Katie - posted on 03/01/2011

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Boy do I relate! I never thought my dislike of toothpaste, starlight mints,etc. as a sensory issue - but makes sense now!

Things I do to cope is to use the "natural $6 toothpastes that come in anise or apricot flavors - I don't mind the strong taste of these as long as it is not a mint taste, but they may still be a little strong for your son. My favorite thing to use is what they used to use prior to the marketing of tooth paste is baking soda. Just dip a wet brush in baking soda and brush away - kind of salty but your teeth and mouth feel really good afterwards. Of course, your dentist would not be too happy with your non-fluoride approach. Oh, and when I go to the dentist I try to refuse to do the minute swish of fluoride treatment because it makes me feel like I will absolutely die no matter what it tastes like. But as an adult it is embarrassing to refuse when they are so insistent - so sometimes I cave in and do it. I feel for you little guy - good luck - so glad you are being compassionate about it all!

Lauralee - posted on 12/05/2012

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Have you looked into using a xylitol toothpaste? They have great flavors that are non minty and they are great for kids. Xylitol is great for helping with keeping teeth healthy as well.

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Lynn - posted on 12/08/2013

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I am a Registered Dental Hygienist in the state of Maine and have recently developed a toothpaste that is natural, contains no Fluoride, and uses Xylitol as a natural antimicrobial that helps to disrupt the pathogens that form plaque. If I can discover a high interest I would be happy to produce a safe formula. I am open to flavor suggestions...we currently use fennel but anything is possible. Please visit greatpondnaturals.info and post comment on our contact page. Let me know if anybody is interested in this type of product and I will produce special orders. The base ingredients: Monocalcium Phosphate powder, Sodium bicarbonate, Glycerine, Hydrated silica, Methoxyl citrus Pectin, Coconut oil, Xylitol and Fennel.

Jeanette - posted on 12/05/2012

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Please look up sensory disorder parent support on facebook, so many helpful links and all questions are answered. so many great suggestions and its like a spd community :) I hope you are able to find the answeres you need there facebook sensoryprocessingdisorderparentsupport

Jeanette - posted on 12/03/2012

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Join our SPD Community



www.sensoryprocessing.yolasite.com



https://www.facebook.com/sensoryprocessingdisorderparentsupport

Jeanette - posted on 12/03/2012

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Join our SPD Community



www.sensoryprocessing.yolasite.com



https://www.facebook.com/sensoryprocessingdisorderparentsupport

Maggie - posted on 11/06/2012

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Tons of Maine makes a strawberry toothpaste that is not mint and tastes like real strawberries rather than fruity flavoring. It does have fluoride like a regular paste. I find it at the grocery store.

Heather - posted on 11/02/2012

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Sorry if this has been posted, but the only toothpaste my teen daughter can stand to use is Tom's of Maine Strawberry toothpaste. She follows that with bubble gum flavored ACT rinse.

Kim - posted on 10/27/2012

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mine too he is the same as your child and my son is 6 and I am looking for some toothpaste that is clear but cannot find anything. Best of luck to you!!

Carlene - posted on 03/08/2011

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Sweetie, there's no such thing as "perfection" with autism. it's called handling it the best way you can:)) if he has only two fits in one day that would be considered a "perfect" day. if he don't punch his sister, it's a perfect day:),

Carlene - posted on 03/08/2011

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Sweetie, there's no such thing as "perfection" with autism. it's called handling it the best way you can:)) if he has only two fits in one day that would be considered a "perfect" day. if he don't punch his sister, it's a perfect day:),

Bridgette - posted on 03/07/2011

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These responses are fantastic, I also have similar issues with my 7 year old asps son. I live in australia and found a great tasting flouride mouthwash, "listerine smart wash", perhaps it could be ordered thru ebay at a resonable cost,,or I could even list it at cost price for people if required.
I also offer a cup with a small amount of water and it enables him to dip the brush in the water until he finds the taste/consistency of paste he can manage, He re-dips to enable him to get the benefit's of the paste, While it's not ideal It's better than his tantrum's and outright refusal, sometimes I cant make "perfect Mumma) but little steps are all in the right direction, He no longer fears teeth brushing and even allow's me to thoroughly brush them 4 times weekly. =)

Arlene - posted on 03/05/2011

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I am so greatful for all of the ideas, and working on them to see which he can tolerate. I am so happy to have a place that I can express my concerns. I appreciate again for all of the suggestions, I will keep you posted on how he does with these new suggestions. Thank you so much!!!

Carlene - posted on 03/04/2011

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if he likes gum, you could always match a flavor of gum he likes with the mint flavor of toothpaste you want him to use, we had to do that with my now 7 yr old niece (who has yet to be diagnosed with sensory problems) and now she knows she gets a piece of gum 10 mins before we brush our teeth:)

Daniella - posted on 03/02/2011

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My 12 year old daughter still wants to use kids toothpaste but we have found that the little, on the road, toothbrushes that come 4 to a package and have a tiny dot of dissolving toothpaste embedded in the litte brushes is tolerable as well. The dentist didnt have a problem with her continuing to use kids toothpaste but told her to use a pea size amount so as not to gag and to brush twice a day. She had her first cavity last month and I was shocked she never had them sooner given I had pretty much given up on getting her to brush regularly.

Amanda - posted on 03/01/2011

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have you tried the Tom's brand toothpaste ? it's organic and comes in a strawberry flavor. since he likes watermelon he may like strawberry. best wishes !!

Sherri - posted on 03/01/2011

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I have a 7 year old son who is autistic. I found that it was not so much the toothpaste as it was the "toothbrush" when I switched him over to a battery operated "toothbrush" then he could control the movement of the toothbrush himself. This helped with the "gag" reflex quiet a lot.
Hope this helps you.
By the way, my son still refuses to touch himself to wipe after a BM.. anyone have any advice on this issue.
Best of Luck

Erica - posted on 03/01/2011

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forget what the dentist says. as long as there is flouride in the toothpast it doesn't matter. My step-father doesn't have autism and uses kids toothpaste because he has a gagging problem too and his dentist recommended that he switched to childrens' toothpast because it causes less gag-reflex. I guess dentists have a difference of opinion on dental care just like some doctors are particular to one "brand" of medication. I would say as long as he is brushing with some flouride toothpaste twice a day then he is one step ahead of those who can't get their kids to even brush once a day! MHO
Best of luck!

Kim - posted on 03/01/2011

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My son has had a sensitivity to strong toothpaste for years. I use Aquafresh for Sensitive. (blue and pink tube at Walmart or London Drugs.) This is the only one he has every tolerated. I also started flossing his teeth a number of years ago using those individual flossers (with a little handle). This has help to prevent tarter as well. Desensitize him by doing a couple of teeth a day, then adding more as time goes on. My behaviorial consultant also suggested to buy a Sonicare toothbrush, which also helps keeps the gums healthly.

If he is not very comfortable with dental visits for cleaning, he is at the age to find a children's hospital to do a proper cleaning. Locate a pediatric dentist if you can that deals with special needs patients and he should put you on the right track. (may cost you a bit of money, but definitely worth it). Recently read an article in newspaper about adults with special needs who did not have proper dental care over the years. Many health problems can occur including heart health due to buildup of bacteria in the mouth.

Good luck and happy brushing.

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Contact your dentist and explain this situation to him. He should be able to give you some ideas.

Marion - posted on 03/01/2011

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My son who is Atypical Autistic has always had "taste" issues. His diet is very limited and bland but i found "Colgate" works for him. Only the plain old one and not the new varieties. All he has is a pea size amount. I hope this helps. x

Michelle - posted on 02/27/2011

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I had the same problem with my son. What I use is Toothettes. You can get them in the pharmacy. They are a straw with a sponge on the end of it it has a cleaning solution on it. They use them in hospitals. My son likes them, and he doesn't have any cavities either. If you have a OT you can get them paid through them. Otherwise they only cost about 3 cents each. I hope this helps you.

Aimee - posted on 02/24/2011

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my son is the same so i tried him on the punch and judy tooth paste and that comes in different flavours and he does not find that 2 hot or gag on it hope this helps good luck

Shelley - posted on 02/24/2011

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no suggestions all u can do is keep on trying my ped dentist told me its important to use normal reg paste because it helps when going to the dentist & having teeth polished. And she told us many use way to much you just need the tinest dab. good luck one day it will work.

Melissa - posted on 02/23/2011

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Crest Pro Health For Me is a kids' version of the Pro Health. It's minty, but doesn't have as strong of a taste. Also, they have the Crest Whitening Expressions in Vanilla Mint or Citrus Burst. Not sure about other brands.

Zenzele - posted on 02/23/2011

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My daughter thinks all the toothpaste's out there are too tingly/hot to her. We use Aquafresh for children. She likes that but she likes to eat it too. Our luck....lol.

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