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Oral Sensory Seeking

Do you have a kiddo that chews on lots of things like pencils, sleeves or shirt collars?  Maybe your child grinds his or her teeth.  Oral sensory input can help a child who likes to chew.  Remember-  babies and young toddlers are supposed to be mouthing objects!  As a child gets older than 3 years old, mouthing is no longer functional.


 Massage around the mouth area. Rub firmly 3-4 times with pads of thumbs and fingers from cheeks towards lips, then from nose and chin towards lips.  You can also use a cool and/or warm washcloth to give input to the cheeks. 

Gum massage. Use index and thumb, starting in a pincer position. Start above front teeth. Quickly, firmly, but carefully slide index finger back along the upper gums on that side. Then move index right down to the bottom gums and slide back to the front. Now use the thumb to do the same thing along the upper and then lower gums on the other side.

Chewy tubes work on the jaw muscles. The TalkTools chewy tubes come in a set of four, in differing hardness levels ranging from soft to hard. The basic premise is that you have your child start with the easiest chewy tube (TalkTools yellow I believe) and try to have your child chew down on it ten times on each side of the mouth. Only use the softest one until your child masters it, meaning your child can do three reps of ten times on each side of the mouth. Yes this will take a while but it's all about building that jaw strength. You then move on to the next color/hardness level but you do not stop using the first one, you do ten chews on each side of the first one, then continue on with the next, once your child masters the next you add the other in the cycle.

Z-vibe-  use this to massage gums and the inside and outside of cheeks.  The spoon attachment can also be used for extra sensory input during meals. 

We like the website for supplies like chew tubes and the z-vibe.  

If you have questions about oral seeking behaviors call us at 651-636-4155!


1935 County Road B2 West Suite 100 Roseville, MN 55113 (651) 636-4155