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Biting & Chewing Advice

Many children and adults with special needs will also feel the need to bite or chew, especially for individuals 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.

Fledglings has a wide range of safe chewing and biting aids, aimed at providing a safe alternatives for individuals to gain that necessary oral sensory feedback whilst promoting calmness and aiding concentration.

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. 
  • As 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 and avoid the risk of choking on inappropriate objects.
  • To build oral strength and control. 
  • 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.

Chewelry Wrist Band, biting and chewing, for disabled children.

Oral aids worn on the wrist

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

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. The Chewelry Wrist Band are a popular choice as they can be worn singly or in groups. The Chewbuddy Bangle and Tread Bangles are also great choices for those who need extra sensory stimulation.

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 manufacture 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
, biting and chewing, for disabled children.

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.

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

We have a wide range of different styles and colours to choose from. The Chewbuddy Stickman and Chewable Disc Pendant have variable levels of hardness. Whereas the Chewbuddy Super has 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
Chewy Tubes, biting and chewing, for disabled children.

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
Cheeky Chompers Neckerchew, biting and chewing, for disabled children.

Neckerchiefs with chewing aid

Some bibs and neckerchiefs like the Cheeky Chompers Neckerchew incorporate a chewing aid at the tip. This means 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

Oral care & Chewing collection

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    Oranurse Unflavoured Toothpaste, oral care, for disabled children.
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  • Finger Toothbrush
    Finger Toothbrush, oral care, for disabled children.
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    £5.00
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  • Chewy Tubes
    Chewy Tubes, oral care, for disabled children.
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    £12.04
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    £12.04
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