Dental Care for Children with Autism

Healthy teeth are an important part of a healthy, happy life. But for some children with autism, keeping teeth healthy can be hard.
Brushing teeth can be difficult. The way it feels can be uncomfortable at first, and the child may take a while to get used to it. You may want to start by using the toothbrush to touch your child’s lips or just inside the mouth. You may also want to teach your child to “open wide,” so that this direction is understood.
Here are some tips for brushing your child’s teeth:
Stand behind your child with their head on your chest. Put a pea size amount of toothpaste on the center of the brush. Then follow these steps:

  1. Brush the outside, inside and tops of the bottom back teeth on one side of the mouth five times.
  2. Move up and brush the inside, outside and chewing surfaces of the top teeth five times.
  3. Brush the bottom front teeth outside and inside five times.
  4. Move to the opposite side and brush the bottom teeth outside and inside five times.
  5. Brush the top front teeth inside, outside, and chewing surfaces five times.
  6. Brush the opposite top back teeth inside, outside, and chewing surfaces five times.
Most people brush their teeth in the bathroom, but you could do it on the couch or in another part of your home where they may feel comfortable. The goal is for your child to brush their teeth on their own as much as possible.