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View Full Version : Oral feeding & Teeth GRINDING


cherienz
04-14-2009, 08:50 AM
Can anyone give me some ideas on my 5 year old who does not take anything orally? EXCEPT water, so we know he can swallow. I just finished reading the thread about taste and traches from ericnrosesmum and it got me thinking. I have continued to try pureed and mainly sweet foods to tempt Mitchell BUT HAVE had no success. Once children are older, do you need to continue with pureed food, or can I try foods that need chewing? I am inspired to try him on hot, spicy flavoured foods (just like what I like!!).

Right now Mitch grinds his teeth almost ALL day. He mouths toys, his TV remote, anything hard, but give him any food in his hand or on a fork/spoon,(hard or soft) and he tosses it. I got so demoralised after years of trying that I had just given up for about 6 months. But I'm ready to try again... any ideas.. miracles you guys have had - please share. . Our SLT told us ages ago that Teeth Grinding is a form of oral stimulation when kids don't eat, any other theories on this?

Thanks Cherie:confused:

aydenava
04-14-2009, 09:45 AM
My son grinds his teeth ,usually when hes hungry or trying to go to sleep,he would never eat pureed food & still doesnt,but he will eat anything crunchy.He started eating about 1 1/2 yrs ago,he is still about 50 % tube feed though.I tryed pureed foods & he wouldnt touch it,but then he started chewing on blankets so I knew he could chew & he was old enough to understand it & he can control the crunchy food in his mouth more.I started with the baby puffs,because they disolve easy & he loved them.Then we went to dry cereal,chips,cookies,crackers.Now a year later we are getting him too eat string cheese,lunch meat & grilled sandwiched(cruncy) & some softer fruit,try the puffs it may work........Angie

faywrayy
04-14-2009, 10:55 AM
Kate never loved pureed foods either, but we started her on solids before she turned 1. She was probably 90% tube fed for 20 mos. Purees were not what worked. What worked at first were dissolvables (puffs, veggie sticks, cheez doodles, stuff like that). Herr's makes a product called Puffin' Corn. it's like a cheez doodle, but it dissolves really quickly. She still loves them. She was also heavily into crunchy (chips, pretzels, crackers). We started there at about12 mos old and kept going forward. We worked extremely hard to get her oral, went through feeding therapy, vital stim, etc. She is 100% oral now and has been since she was 23mos.

Feel free to PM me. I have lots of sugestions, what worked for her, tips from the feeding therapists, etc. You should also look into the Parent2Parent forum. It helped me tons with tips and support. These parents have been through everything related to tube feeding, weaning, etc. Here's the link to the main page. Scroll down a bit and you'll see the boards for Feeding Issues and Aversions and Tube Feeding.

http://www.parent-2-parent.com/forum/

ericnrosesmom
04-14-2009, 11:45 AM
Eric went through a brief phase of teeth grinding, but it only lasted a couple weeks. It almost drove me insane but then he quit on his own.

JWorthington
04-14-2009, 01:10 PM
Sounds just like my sam! he grinds his teeth all the time, mouths the tv remote, his nintendo ds, clothes, toys and people!! But very little actual food ever gets consumed. He'll eat about half a dozen spoonfuls and then give up. I have just bought a new blender and and going to try different tastes - at the moment it's just chocolate pudding and vanilla yogurt.

Good luck, if I pick up any tips along the way I'll let you know.

Julie x

Alethia
04-14-2009, 06:43 PM
NO purees here either. Won't eat yogurt, cream or anything like that. He started with licking the flavour off crisps (he still does that). Then it was eating butter, preferably salted. Then grated cheese - initially he would spend 5 minutes sucking and nibbling on a single shred, and eat maybe 3 in total. He graduated onto cubes of cheese which he still prefers, but he will also eat sticks of cheese now.

Prior to the success with eating, Angus was always involved with family mealtimes and meals at nursery. Even if he didn't want any, I would give him a toy or something to do at the table. He helps to set the table, and if I've got time I involve him in making dinner, e.g. I chop and he puts veggies into the pot. Just simple stuff. I also try and do baking with the kids once a week/fortnight.

I tried to keep all associations with food pleasant and relaxed. We didn't pressure him to eat, merely asked what he wanted from the food that was on our plates or in the serving dishes (the latter only happens for Sunday lunches and special occasions, LOL!). Most times he would want a bit of everything, but not touch it. He graduated onto playing with his food with his hands - slowly turning pieces of veg over and over, moving them around, stuff like that. He would play and chew his knife and fork.

When he started attending Feeding Clinic they stopped half his tube feeds. He didn't eat and got so thin that he got ill with a chest infection. We fattened him up back to what he was, and then cut his feeds again. We did this 3 times and the third time was the charm. He started drinking chocolate milk, eating more butter (it would make you choke to watch the amount he'd eat happily - blech!), and eating up to 3 tbsps of grated cheddar. We kept reducing a feed each month or two while the Feeding Clinic kept a close eye on his weight.

It's not been a smooth road at all. Sometimes he'll go completely back the way if he's ill or someone pressures him to eat something. It's all very tied up with control and stress/anxiety. When this happens, we back off completely and let him lead. We don't even put food in front of him, we just ask him what he wants and whether it's chocolate, cheese, or mashed potato and gravy, we'll do our best to provide the food he wants. The more secure and in control he feels, the more he eats. It's not the way I would ever have seen myself being, but I understand the psychology of it more now so I just go with the flow.

He still doesn't always recognise when he's hungry so if I see him chewing on his hands or a toy and drooling (this is what he's always done rather than grind his teeth), I'll ask him if he wants something to eat. I always carry a pack of chocolate buttons and a wee carton of cheese cubes around when we're out so I can meet his hunger as and when. The other thing that helps is giving him snacks when he's doing something else like playing on the computer. He's more relaxed, and he eats more without noticing.

It's not really hard work, it's just bitterly frustrating making no progress for months on end, then sometimes making huge leaps only to completely back track a couple of days or weeks later. I'd say the main thing which caused him to eat was us sticking with the cutting feeds. If you agree a weight to which you'll let him drop, then go ahead with cutting feeds, you may find this works for Mitchell too. Sorry this is so long!

TommysDad
04-14-2009, 07:12 PM
You've gotten great advice. I can't wait to check out that parent to parent site, and I'd love this topic to be discussed openly as we deal with the same issues with Tommy. Tommy doesn't care for purees either. With lots of modeling, fun & enthusiasum, we got him to eat cheese puffs, but he really seems to like Gerber's Zesty Tomato Puffs. We can get him to eat 60 mls firm cream cheese. He has now gone to liking soft sugar cookies, and just today I got him to eat some avocado. He seems to like things that have substance and that he can control in his mouth but still disolve rather quickly.

Tommy doesn't grind his teeth too much, but he sure loves to chomp on his thumb! So, any advice anyone gives you, we need it, too!:o

~Maggie

Ainsley's Mom
04-14-2009, 07:59 PM
http://www.therapyshoppe.com/therapy/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=15_1088&products_id=1724&sort=20a&page=1 I highly recommend these. They are dense and very durable for chewing. Perhaps this would satisfy an urge to really chew and ease the grinding. The cool things is you can dip them in sauces or spray them with flavor sprays they are easy to clean.

The "Q" is good for kids that gag easily since it can't get too far back in the mouth. The "P" is great for getting back to the molars. Both are nice that they have a "loop" that you can tie a string to so they don't get lost.

Ainlsey ate purees quite awhile ago but didn't do well (I think due to lack of sense of taste and too much swelling and vomiting). Now she really seems to want nothing to do with them and she is more interested in table food but doesn't have the skills to actually eat them. A problem for sure. We have recently discovered she likes HP sauce, ranch dip and soy sauce. I think stronger flavors come through better. We are offering opportunities to eat but letting her set the pace. She sits at the dinner table with the family every night and gets a plate of food that she can do what she wants with. For us that's a great start even if she's just exploring it with her hands and watching us model eating. She loves dinner time and gets mad if we don't include her or don't give her the food even though she doesn't eat it. I know that when her body is ready she will eat. (Don't get the idea I don't believe in therapy, I do but also think that you have to work within their abilities and not push too hard or it backfires.)

FightingForFaith
04-14-2009, 10:25 PM
Our SLT told us ages ago that Teeth Grinding is a form of oral stimulation when kids don't eat, any other theories on this?


Interesting. We have a major teeth grinder here, too. Drives DH crazy. I always attributed it to teething, but Faith does it so often now it's def. a form of oral stimming. I never thought of the connection of not eating and doing it.

When Faith is not grinding she does this "cud chewing" thing. Everyone who has the pleasure of witnessing this, including our SPT, has commented that they have never seen anyone do this before (I don't know how I am supposed to take comments like that) but it's as if she is chewing a wad of bubble gum or something. Once again, I think this is just a repetitive "stimming" behavior thing.

Alethia
04-15-2009, 11:48 AM
FIghtingforFaith - Angus sometimes does a weird "chewing cud" type thing. I think he's chewing his tongue when he does it, but he swears blind that he's not. I always offer him food when he does it now and he usually eats it. Definitely a stimming behaviour.

Mom2TwinsPlus1
04-15-2009, 07:29 PM
Just wanted to add for the teeth grinders, that it can also be a sign they don't have enough calcium. My niece had that issue bad and we had hers tested and it was to low.

Emma's used to be checked often not for teeth grinding but because we were told that formula fed gtube kids (no "real" food) can sometimes not get enough calcium or absorb it correctly. We have been lucky hers turned out ok.

Just thought I would toss my two cents in

drct1245
04-15-2009, 08:59 PM
Just curious as to how many feeding therapists you have gone through? As our feeding therapists uses about 3 different protocols, depending upon the child... so you have only tried one or 2, there might be more options out there. (just making sure you were aware of them) - it also depends upon if it's more behavioural or not. Ayden does eat pureed food, but lately has wanted our food, mostly pasta w/ sauce to suck on and anything we have. He won't eat it, but will lick it. You could try things that will melt, like others said, - like nilla waffers, graham crackers, the puffs, etc. Ayden is into taking those to and wanting to bite off a chunk and spit it out. You would also have to work on the tongue to make sure he can move food to the side and spit it out, if he isn't comfortable.

In Denver, there is Toomey and Associates, which either you love or hate her tactics. There is also a week long feeding therapy in VA that Ayden's feeding therapist LOVES.

good luck - it's a very hard thing when they aren't able to pick it up as a baby.

cherienz
04-16-2009, 10:40 AM
Just wanted to add for the teeth grinders, that it can also be a sign they don't have enough calcium. My niece had that issue bad and we had hers tested and it was to low.

Emma's used to be checked often not for teeth grinding but because we were told that formula fed gtube kids (no "real" food) can sometimes not get enough calcium or absorb it correctly. We have been lucky hers turned out ok.

Just thought I would toss my two cents in

Oh this is an interesting thought that I will check with the dietician. Mitch has always been on Nutrini Energy because he couldn't tolerate anything else. But we have n't had his salts, minerals, etc tested for ages since we were home!
Thanks for the idea.

cherienz
04-16-2009, 10:46 AM
Just curious as to how many feeding therapists you have gone through? As our feeding therapists uses about 3 different protocols, depending upon the child... so you have only tried one or 2, there might be more options out there. (just making sure you were aware of them) - it also depends upon if it's more behavioural or not. Ayden does eat pureed food, but lately has wanted our food, mostly pasta w/ sauce to suck on and anything we have. He won't eat it, but will lick it. You could try things that will melt, like others said, - like nilla waffers, graham crackers, the puffs, etc. Ayden is into taking those to and wanting to bite off a chunk and spit it out. You would also have to work on the tongue to make sure he can move food to the side and spit it out, if he isn't comfortable.

In Denver, there is Toomey and Associates, which either you love or hate her tactics. There is also a week long feeding therapy in VA that Ayden's feeding therapist LOVES.

good luck - it's a very hard thing when they aren't able to pick it up as a baby.

Hey this is all great advice. Thanks. We live in NZ, so can't quite travel to Denver, or VA for therapy (not while on the vent!!). But I love your feedback and great advice about the tongue. I am gonna try and do some work on that.
Thanks Cherie