Biting, Chewing, Sucking: A Solution For Oral Sensitivities

Humans are oral creatures. Since early infancy, our knowledge of the world comes to us by taste. We learn different flavors, textures, and even consistencies as a part of our normal development.

However, when these activities end up in raw nails, and red cuticles, it can be pointing to a bigger problem. Today we will analyze the causes, as well as solutions for oral sensitivities.

The Reason Behind Biting, Chewing, and Sucking

A high number of children on the spectrum have been found engaged in mouthing beyond the age where neurotypical children stop doing so. 

So before jumping into sensory processing issues, we will analyze other reasons that can be causing your child to bite, and chew.

Pain: Is your child teething? Is his/her bite correctly aligned? Is there an earache? These can be some of the reasons why your child is biting to ease the pain. 

Pica:  This is a psychiatric condition where children eat inedible items. Clay, dirt, and even feces are some of the common denominators. The reason for it can be traced back to nutrimental deficiencies.

Anxiety:  Childrens inability to communicate verbally can be translated into frustration and sometimes biting to ease it. Try to notice your child’s overall conduct to determine if anger, anxiety, or even frustration can be the cause.

Huger: Is he/she hungry? Was the food in his/her diet correct? Is she/he suffering from tummy pain? Many times this can be the reason behind chewing hand and/or hair.

Boredom: Fidgety behaviors can be caused by boredom and lack of attention. Maybe this is an indicator that your child is ready for another activity.

Making a daily diary, and tracing back your child’s conduct and behaviors is a perfect way to identify if all mouthing actions could be caused by nonsensory issues.

Easing Mouthing Behaviors Due To Oral Sensitivities

Lets assume that your child is biting, chewing, and sucking due to sensory issues. From a sensory standpoint, these behaviors provide a lot of tactile (touch) input from skin surfaces and proprioceptive sense(body awareness from joints, muscles, and connective tissue) from the jaw and teeth. 

So a good way to manage this situation is finding more safe, healthy, and hygienic practices with redirection.

The following oral comfort items will help your child feel better while being safe.

Food:  Crunchy foods like pretzels and raw vegetables are great ways to ease sensitivities. Additionally chewing items like fruit leathers, and glute-free bagels are incredible choices to improve oral sensitivities.

Chewing Gum: Looking for a sugar-free, gluten-free, and casein-free option is good to bring a sweet treat that can be safe and healthy. 

Liquids: Plain filtered water is great as is organic coconut water. Drinking liquids, especially thicker ones, through fun straws can be an additional way to improve coordination while easing discomfort.

Chewlery: Some brands have launched an ASD safe jewelry that allows children to ease oral sensitivities by chewing them. Dr. Bloom’s Chewable Jewels is a line invented by a dentist that can be safe for autistic children.

Sometimes children nibble or pick at their cuticles as a sensory behavior and sometimes as a nervous habit, so learning to identify your childs triggers is a good way to find a proper solution.

Remember, when it comes to discovering possible stress factors, patience is key. Take a moment each day to analyze your childs behaviors after chewing, and biting. 

Keep in mind that being a mom is a continuous journey of discovery and learning. So if you find yourself on new territories and are learning daily you are on the right track. Keep going, mommy!

At WSCC, we offer support for autistic families and their children with Stem Cell Therapy treatments that can transform autistic conditions by healing the gut, decreasing inflammation and improving brain function. We also created an autistic community on Facebook that is destined to offer support and companionship for ASD parents and their families on their journey.

 Remember, you are not alone!