Poor Oral Hygiene

Hi all,

I was just wondering if poor oral hygiene could be as a result of my autism? There’s something about toothpaste that I just don’t like and while I make an effort to clean my teeth at least once a day it’s a struggle. And going to the dentist just sends my anxiety through the roof so I generally avoid going unless I have to.

Does any of this sound familiar? And what workarounds are there to improve my oral health?


  • I don't know if it is a result of your autism but people with autism often have poor hygiene.

    I also have poor oral hygiene. I always brush my teeth before shaving but rarely brush my teeth otherwise. It's not that I don't like brushing my teeth or anything. I just forget.

    I am ok these days with dentists although I had a dentist as a child who used to do fillings without any injections or other anaesthetic which put me off dentists for a long time.

    I don't have any workarounds so I'll be interested to see if any other users have any good ideas.

  • Oral hygiene has been one of my pet peeves for a long time.

    I now brush my teeth twice or three times  (always before going to sleep) a day with a battery operated toothbrush and use quality branded toothpaste.   AND use expanding dental floss every time.

    As a child, my mother was in charge of my dental hygiene.  She lost all her teeth when she was around forty.  So she was obsessed with making sure I would have better teeth.

     The result was I had 5 teeth extracted when I was 18. And the dentist predicted that I would be lucky not to be toothless by the age of 21.  

    I am now 55 and haven't lost any more teeth.

  • Not sure if its necessarily an autism thing. I have always had problems with it. Noted in my in patient psychiatric records from the early 80s. In my case its something I don't automatically remember to do rather than any dislike of toothpaste.

  • if you don't like traditional toothpaste then there are these things that lush sell called toothy tabs that you could try instead to see if that helps.

    you get loads of these little tablet things in a bottle and you just nibble one between your teeth then brush them with a wet toothbrush, this might help if it's a texture problem with normal toothpaste.

  • Hi Graham357,

    Not that I know of, but you could use a trait of autism to your advantage. Autistic people tend to prefer routines to help manage their lives, so perhaps you would be good at creating that habit of brushing and improving oral hygiene?x

    Much love <3