Hot Topic Blog - Mouth Development & Function
SENSORY ORAL-MOTOR TOYS TO SATISFY THE URGE TO CHEW AND BITECommentary by Lorna d'Entremont, Educator and Inventor in Nova Scotia, Canada
Sound familiar, “She is of school age and still mouths everything in sight?” This overwhelming urge to chew and bite has no age limit and needs to be satisfied by providing safe, age- appropriate chewables. Take what the child already DOES, and make it safer. More appropriate: Take away the possibility of damaged teeth and probability of ruined toys, clothing, and school supplies, and look into sensory oral-motor tools.
Give your chewer what he needs in better, safer, and healthier ways. Redirect her to a safer way to get the same input. And make it fun! Your child will feel better for being able to chew and bite for as long as he needs while knowing parents and teachers support him.
Unfortunately there is no age limit on the need to chew. Many adults chew on non-food items during stressful times at work. Some individuals find that chewing gum helps calm them down.
Chewing is another way for people to fidget. It helps distract and calm the brain, so they can concentrate. However, chewing on a lead filled pencil isn't the best idea, and most schools have banned gum from school grounds and classrooms. Enter the chewable toys called sensory oral-motor tools.
How can I know if my child needs an oral-sensory necklace or other sensory toys?
Is THIS Your Child?
-Can’t Sit Still?
Features of an Age-Appropriate Chew Necklace
Chew sticks, chewable pencil toppers, and chew necklaces are just some of the many fidget toys/items available for individuals of all ages and abilities who need oral input. KidCompanions Chewelry is an age-appropriate, socially accepted chewy fidget. Recommended by parents, special education teachers, and occupational therapists, they benefit individuals who feel the need to bite, chew, or fidget.
KidCompanions Chewelry’s ingenuity is in its discreet effectiveness and its safety features. The wearable tool is attractive for growing children, is ideal for individuals with autism and/or sensory processing issues. This Chewelry helps ADD/ADHD youth focus on tasks without calling attention to themselves or disrupting a classroom.
Meg C., the mother of a youth with sensory integration issues, incorporates KidCompanions Chewelry into her son's daily routine. She says, "My son is a sensory kid, and this is helping him be a lot more discreet with his need for biting and chewing. This product has made a huge difference for us...."
KidCompanions Chewelry is safe, BPA, phthalate, PVC, lead, and latex free. It is stylish and discreet allowing the user to fit in. The heart shaped chew pendants have a sensory dip with a worry stone feel. Circles and Hearts both have abstract dots on back offering interesting imagery possibilities. They are made with FDA approved materials, sourced in USA/Canada, made in Canada, and CE marked. They are also available as Clip-on Fidgets.
Lorna and Pierrette d’Entremont, the mother and daughter team behind these sensory oral-motor tools that came on the market in 2007, listened to parents of tweens and teens who wanted a more durable chew necklace for their active, aggressive chewers. In 2013, they launched their second line of chew necklaces called SentioCHEWS.
SentioCHEWS are more durable than competing products on the market made of generic silicone. This new material is FDA compliant, BPA, latex, and metal free.
Features of SentioCHEWS
-4 new styles in red or blue
-Soft rubber feel
-FDA compliant materials
-Economical 1-part shapes
-More durable than silicone
-24” breakaway paracord lanyards
-Durable barrel clasp
Unfortunately, traditional developmental and sensory tools are usually for younger children and can be bright and distracting. Product recalls have also drawn attention to safety troubles in toy land, especially toxic materials in imported goods. In a world of increasing uncertainty about our children’s health, KidCompanions Chewelry and SentioCHEWS give parents peace of mind.
When choosing a chew necklace, parents must make sure they are an age-appropriate, school-friendly style that their child will love to wear and use! They must allow the user to blend in. They must not bring attention to the user and must NOT be a distraction to others. Sensory oral-motor tools must provide comfort and calm to a child who needs to chew, bite, and fidget to get on with the day.
About the Author
Lorna d’Entremont has a Master of Education and has taught thirty years in French elementary classrooms in Nova Scotia. When she retired from teaching, she joined her daughter as co-owner of SentioLife Solutions, Ltd., the makers of the sensory, oral-motor tools SentioChews and KidCompanions Chewelry. She blogs about issues that concern parents of children with special needs and also writes reviews for their Special Needs Book Review site. She is a wife, mom of three, and grandmother of five granddaughters.
- SentioLife Solutions’ website:: https://kidcompanions.com/
-Special Needs Book Review : http://www.specialneedsbookreview.com/
-KidCompanions Special Needs Blog: https://kidcompanions.com/blog/