Why do Some Kids Chew on their Clothes, Hair or Pencils?

Why do some kids feel the need to chew on their clothes, hair or fingers?  This is a common issue that parents and teachers have seen in students with autism, ADHD and sensory issues.  There can be several reasons why a kid is chewing.  If you are a concerned parent make sure to talk to your child’s doctor to rule out any possible medical issue.

Here are the most common reasons:

  • Chewing can be calming.  Think about it when you eat you tend to relax.  The act of chewing can be a way for kids to calm themselves.
  • Chewing can also help children focus.   Students may be chewing on their clothes at school as a way to help them stay focused and pay attention.
  • Children may be chewing on their clothes or non-food items because they have a dental issue.  We have heard from many teachers and therapists that children start chewing when molars are coming in or they have a cavity.  This can be especially true of a child who is nonverbal and may not be able to communicate that they are having a problem inside their mouth.
  • Some therapists have suggested that there is a connection between children who do little physical activity and chewing. The theory is that everyone needs  to move and children who are inside a lot or have trouble with movement may chew as a way to release pent up energy.
  • Some children may chew on their clothes because they need to stimulate their jaw muscles. This is especially true of kids who eat a soft or pureed diet.
  • The child may be chewing because they have Pica.

Here are a few items we recommend for chewers:

Chewy Tubes – Super durable and have been used by therapists for years.

Chewelry Necklaces – Our most popular chewable jewelry an affordable favorite for teachers and therapists.

Chewy Pencil Toppers – these clear chewable pencil tops are not very noticeable in class.



One Response to “Why do Some Kids Chew on their Clothes, Hair or Pencils?”
  1. Alice Mum says:

    There are many reason cause children chewing the clothes. That’s the human habit after I asked the doctors. Some adult still have such habit to chew something instead of pencil or clothes. No worry too much.

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