Every day, since my daughter has had teeth, I have brushed them. As a little one, fine motor delays made it necessary for me to do it for her. I'd give her a crack at it, then go over them myself. After her first dental appointment in which I had to peel her from the ceiling, we knew it was vital for us to keep at it, going over her teeth every day, keeping them very clean. God forbid she'd ever need a cavity filled; not with her kind of anxiety. We still go over them twice day after she's brushed and we floss her teeth once every evening.
At the dentist last week, Riley sat in the chair, being brave. This is her third time in this particular office, and before her first appt. I pre-paved, informing the dentist about Riley's anxiety and sensory issues. This time, Riley blurted out "WAIT!" a few times. She said, "OH NO!" once or twice. But she really did well.
At one point, the dentist pulled out a line of floss and asked "Are you flossing every day?" I answered, "Yes. I floss her teeth every day." Riley nodded.
Michelle O’Neil has contributed to A Cup of Comfort for Parents of Children with Autism, and Special Gifts: Women Writers on the Heartache, the Happiness and the Hope of Raising a Special Needs Child. She has written for Literary Mama, The Imperfect Parent, Age of Autism, The Bark! and Sensory Integration Special Interest Section (SISIS) Quarterly Newsletter, a professional journal for occupational therapists.