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Biting & Chewing

Many people with special needs will also feel the need to bite or chew, especially those on the Autistic spectrum. There may be a range of reasons for this such as frustration, stress, anxiety, the desire to communicate or the need for sensory stimulation. It can also be a reaction to feeling overwhelmed by their environment. Chewing or biting can also be a comforting activity, providing a sensory input to the proprioceptive system.

Fledglings has a range of oral care products, adapted to help families and carers as well as a wide range of safe chewing and biting aids. These are aimed at improving oral hygiene and providing a safe alternatives for people who like to bite and chew.

Chewing and biting behaviour can manifest in the sucking of clothing, particularly at the cuffs and necks of garments as well as the chewing of fingers and other inedible objects. This form of self- stimulating behaviour is called ‘stimming’. Chewing aids are one way of safely redirecting this behaviour by changing the object on which the person chews to a safer alternative. They can also help strengthen muscles in the mouth and encourage the chewing skills needed for eating and speech. If you need advice, an occupational or speech and language therapist should be able to give you more information.

Chewing aids can help

  • As an oral fidget aid for sensory seekers – those who need stimulation and proprioceptive input. 
  • They can be a safe alternative to chewing on hands, knuckles, cuffs and sleeves, shirts, pencils, etc. 
  • As an alternative to tooth grinding or thumb sucking. 
  • To practice biting/chewing safely by using a safe chewing aid, thus avoiding the risk of choking on inappropriate objects. 
  • To build oral strength and control. 
  • Can help with the urge to chew for individuals who are tube fed. 
  • Chewing aids are usually made of non-toxic medical grade material for added safety. 

Please note: Severe biting and chewing can lead to physical damage to the tissues on the arms, hands and fingers. Every individual’s experiences and behaviour will be different so in instances of severe biting, it may be best to seek professional advice. Biting and chewing can also be related to physical discomfort, pain in the mouth or another medical issue. If you suspect this may be the case, please seek specialist medical or dental advice.

We recommend that all chewing aids are used with adult supervision and are replaced once they show signs of wear. Please inspect the chewing aid regularly and wash with warm soapy water.

Oral aids worn on the wrist

Usually made of high grade and resilient material such as medical grade silicone or Therma Elastic Polymer. These chewing aids worn on the wrist, are ideal for those who have a tendency to chew on their cuffs, wrists or fingers.

Available in a range of styles – some have textured surfaces for added sensory stimulation, others may be stretchy or come in a variety of colours and shapes. They can be worn singly or in groups.

Be aware that the firmness of the material used varies and some may be more suitable for a strong bite than others. It is best to check with the manufacturer or supplier as well as your OT if you have any queries as to what would be best for you. It is also a good idea to check the product and wash it regularly. Even the strongest material will eventually show signs of wear, especially if the user has a strong bite. If the bangle or chewing aid becomes damaged it should always be replaced.

shop Chewelry Wrist Band

Chew Pendants or Necklaces

Not everybody gets on with wearing a bangle on the wrist, some people may find wearing a chewing aid around the neck more comfortable to use.

The pendant, suspended from a cord or lanyard should have a quick release clasp. Chew Pendants should always be used with adult supervision and are not suitable for children under 36 months, as the cord can constitute a choking hazard.

There are different styles and colours to choose from, some have variable levels of hardness while others have a textured surface to give an extra sensory input. Please check the pendant regularly and replace if it shows signs of wear.

shop Chewable Disc Pendant

Chewing aids

There are many other different types of chewing aids such as the Chewy Tubes, Super Chews and Chewable P&Q,.

They are tactile and designed to be comfortable to hold in the hand and mouth - some have grip like ‘handles’. They come in a range of different levels of hardness while others have textured or ridged surfaces for added oral stimulation.

If you are unsure, an OT should be able to advise you on the most suitable product. If your child has a particularly strong bite, they may need a tougher chewing aid made from a more resistant material. Make sure to check the chewing aid regularly and replace if damaged.

shop Chewy Tubes

Neckerchiefs with chewing aid

Some bibs and neckerchiefs incorporate a chewing aid at the tip. These means that the neckerchief can act as a dribble bib as well as a chewing aid. The chew part is less likely to be lost as it is fixed to the neckerchief. However this type of chewing aid may not be suitable for those with a very strong bite.

shop Cheeky Chompers Neckerchew

Chewing collection

  • Oranurse Unflavoured Toothpaste
    Oranurse Unflavoured Toothpaste, oral care, for disabled children.
    Regular price
    £4.00
    Sale price
    £4.00
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    per 
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  • Dr Barman's Superbrush Multi-Angled Toothbrush
    Dr Barman's Superbrush Multi-Angled Toothbrush, oral care, for disabled children.
    Regular price
    £5.20
    Sale price
    £5.20
    Regular price
    Unit price
    per 
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  • Collis Curved Toothbrush
    Collis Curved Toothbrush, oral care, for disabled children.
    Regular price
    £8.80
    Sale price
    £8.80
    Regular price
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    per 
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  • Finger Toothbrush
    Finger Toothbrush, oral care, for disabled children.
    Regular price
    £4.95
    Sale price
    £4.95
    Regular price
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    per 
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  • Chewy Tubes
    Chewy Tubes, oral care, for disabled children.
    Regular price
    £12.04
    Sale price
    £12.04
    Regular price
    Unit price
    per 
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  • Super Chews
    Super Chews Red Knobbly Texture, oral care, for disabled children.
    Regular price
    £12.04
    Sale price
    £12.04
    Regular price
    Unit price
    per 
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  • Chewbuddy Bangle
    Chewbuddy Bangle, oral care, for disabled children.
    Regular price
    £9.25
    Sale price
    £9.25
    Regular price
    Unit price
    per 
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  • Chewable P&Q
    Chewing aid, Chewable P&Q, oral care, for children with disabilities.
    Regular price
    £12.04
    Sale price
    £12.04
    Regular price
    Unit price
    per 
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  • Chewable Disc Pendant
    Chewable Disc Pendant, oral care, for disabled children.
    Regular price
    £14.25
    Sale price
    £14.25
    Regular price
    Unit price
    per 
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  • Tread Bangles
    Children chewing aid, Tread Bangles, oral care, for children with disabilities.
    Regular price
    £8.75
    Sale price
    £8.75
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    Unit price
    per 
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