How and Why to Brush Teeth

Social Story Narrative – Preschool and Older – Autism/Special Ed

Social stories can help teach children with special needs to brush their teeth!

Brushing teeth is often a difficult skill to teach young children with autism and other developmental disabilities. Toothpaste can taste really bad and the toothbrush can make some children gag. In fact, research suggests that over 60% of preschool children with autism resist toothbrushing. This is often due to sensory sensitivity and the discomfort associated with having something in their mouth. Social stories are a well-researched and evidence-based strategy for teaching children a variety of skills. Research has specifically evaluated whether toothbrushing can be taught through social stories and has shown it to be an effective intervention. You can see our blog post about a recent study for more information: Social Stories Improve Toothbrushing Skills.

In this download, there are three major components:

In this download, there are three major components:

  1. An 13 page PowerPoint social story that has 5 pages explaining WHY children should brush their teeth and 8 pages explaining HOW to brush their teeth. Each page contains simple images to explain the concepts discussed. The great thing about this Powerpoint is that it is FULLY EDITABLE. This means that you can change the text, erase/add images, and make other modifications to suit your individual children. Please just do not distribute or sell the modified versions.
  2. An 13 page PDF file that is READY TO PRINT and use with your students. Each page will be approximately 4″ x 6″. You can then staple the pages together to form a little Social Story Book.
  3. A task analysis data sheet that can be used to track progress on the skill of brushing teeth. I include a PDF version that is ready to print and an Excel file that you can modify if you desire.

Overall, this package has everything you need to teach a child to brush their teeth in your classroom or at home!

Check our all of our social stories on Teachers Pay Teachers.