Strong oral fixation

Hi,

My 5 year old son seems to have a strong to borderline extreme oral fixation. He has quit sucking his thumb twice, but comes back to it. He bites and and chews every straw on his cups - we replace the lids/straws often. And often chews toys both hard and soft. I don’t know what to do to help him. His dentist just says he’s very orally fixated and will grow out of it, but I’m afraid he’s going to hurt his teeth. Any suggestions or things I can direct him to chew instead?

Hey Mieche, I taught elementary for 8 years and when I taught kindergarten I worked closely with an OT who helped me quite a bit with a child like your son. One thing that helped was “chewelry”. He had a necklace with a rubber Lego on it he could chew on when needed.

Some other suggestions she gave the parents included:

  • having him drink thick liquids through a straw
  • blow bubbles
  • eating crunch foods
  • using a vibration toothbrush

Occupational Therapists are wonderful and this is something they could help with quite a bit!

Thank you. I always think of chewelry as a baby/teething toy but I’m willing to give it a shot.