On Dentists

So I can’t brush my teeth. Like, it’s the worst kind of hell. I went to the dentist for a cleaning today and I told the hygienist this, and she was wonderfully helpful.

There are some incredibly soft toothbrushes available- namely, post-surgical brushes. Running them under hot water makes them even softer.

She told me that you don’t really need to use toothpaste- it’s mostly marketing. The foam gets to me, so that is really reassuring.

She gave me two particularly soft brushes and some xylitol gum. Trident is a market brand of xylitol gum, which helps with your teeth and can make your breath smell better.

The whole purpose of brushing is to disrupt plaque buildup. You don’t need to brush twice a day, every day with toothpaste if you brush correctly- little circles, focusing on near the gums (where most plaque builds up). So if you’re having a bad sensory day and can’t brush at all, it’s not the end of the world.

Hell, you don’t even need a toothbrush if even the post-surgical ones are too harsh. Going over your teeth with the same motions using a washcloth is enough.

She wants to find a fluoride rinse that has a taste I can stand (peppermint is the only mint I can stand) but she’s not particularly worried about it.

I go to Dr. Barr in Chicago. If you can get to the State St. Macy’s, his office is nearby. He’s very kind and patient and really understanding of my needs as an autistic person. The hygienist, I don’t know her name, announced everything she was going to do before she did it, and stopped frequently to see how I was doing.

This is really the only positive dentist I’ve ever had- past dentists have been too rough and not bothered to help find ways I can actually brush.

Basically this is a glowing recommendation for Dr. Barr’s office if you’re autistic, afraid of dentists, or have sensory needs. This is a recommendation even if you don’t have any of those things.

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