Mouthing

Jennifer - posted on 02/10/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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My 3 yo daughter has always mouthed inedible things, but this weekend we had to actually use our first aid skills because she tried to swallow a rock and it got lodged in her throat. Her OT gave us some things to try, but she still seems attracted to the things she is not supposed to put in her mouth. I have tried chewing gum, but it is still considered a choking hazard at her age (and we don't need any more choking). Has anyone else been through this or have any advice on how to stop her from putting things in her mouth?

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Sarah - posted on 03/27/2009

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One thing that I can suggest is reading a book called "the out of sync child". It has all kinds of ideas for safe sensory activities. One of the things that I do with my son who has verbal apraxia is have him drink applesauce through a drinking straw. I give him a single serve cup and just poke a hole in the foil lid for the straw.



Both my boys tend to chew on things too. Thier toothbrushes look horrible, so I started buying cheap ones (about $1 each) and replacing them as needed. My youngest likes to chew drinking straws too. You can check at www.superduper.com for other appropriate oral motor chewies. I know I have some coil bracelets that are safe to chew, and they make a necklace too.

Jennifer - posted on 03/19/2009

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Thanks for all the suggestions.  We have purchased some "chewys" and have started using a vibrating toothbrush as well.  I have also continued to give her chewing gum, especially when outside, and just try to watch her.  It has helped some, but there are just some things that she just can't resist putting in her mouth.  I think that is just how she experiences the world.  Some kids touch and mine just puts everything in her mouth! :)  She certainly keeps me on my toes!

Jennifer - posted on 03/18/2009

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My son likes to mouth all things smooth, especially metal. He chews on the brass brackets that hold the hand rails onto the walls that go up and down the stairs. Or the kickplate at the top of the stairs. He also likes to chew on his shirt. For the metal problem I give him a spoon to mouth, and for the clothes, I give him a clean but damp wash rag. That seems to work for him. Does she have a specific type of material she likes to mouth? I know all too well about the chocking thing too, he chokes on everything he eats!

Kathleen - posted on 03/10/2009

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We still have this problem with our 4 yr old. We have tried to provide her with enough things that are okay to put in her mouth. The baby teethers that can be frozen, are great. They are cold, and hard which provide lots of input. We do limit her to one popsicle or lollipop a day. Straws are great too. Our OT had gotten our daughter to really enjoy an power toothbrush. The vibrations are very satisfying. She also enjoys chewing on regular toothbrushes.

Kori - posted on 03/05/2009

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I just found out my son has SPD and not Autism.  I had never even heard of it but thinking back now... since he was just a baby he would put everything in his mouth.  He's 5 1/2 now and still chews on things.  I would catch him trying to eat potpouri and fuzz from blankets.  I will try letting him chew gum, I just hope it doesn't get messy! hah

Mindi - posted on 03/04/2009

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We did use chewing gum with our 3-year-old. To reduce the risk of choking, we bought Trident gum (it is sugarless and the pieces are small), and we only gave him 1/2 a piece at a time. The size is small, but it gave him something to chew all the time. He stopped putting anything inedible in his mouth. He just turned 5, and we finally allow him to have a full piece of Trident. Just thought I'd share this in case you don't find anything else that works. :)

Shelly - posted on 03/01/2009

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My son Luke, who is 6 yrs. old  & has SPD, chews everything too.  He chews to help him cope when he is anxious.  We have given him something called a chewy tube to use & encourage him to use that instead of his shirt, arm, a blanket, strings, anything really that he sees.  I found mine at www.therapro.com.

Holly - posted on 02/18/2009

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My OT suggested a plastic tubing that you can buy at places like Home Depot. My daughter loves it and it seems to help with her need to mouth everything. I know your pain, she swolled a handful of coins about two weeks ago, well, three went down and I managed to get the rest out, but scared the life out of us. Lilly puts the tubing in pocket and when she needs it pulls it out and will chew on it, helps her quite a bit. Hope that helps.

Shelly - posted on 02/11/2009

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I have a three year old with a mouthing problem too. Her OT has me doing things like blowing through a straw, sucking thick beverages through a straw, blowing bubbles,  having her eat spicy and minty, vinigar chips, strong flavored foods. She said this will satisfy her need to put  inedibles in her mouth and give her the sensory input that she is seeking. I hope this helped. I am not a professional, but i know what you are going through. :) best of luck

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