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6 Year old always putting things in mouth/chewing on "stuff"
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6 Year old always putting things in mouth/chewing on "stuff"

My 6 year old daughter is constantly putting things in her mouth. Her teacher recently informed me that she was chewing on loose staples in class! She is always chewing on paper, pencils, her finger nails, plastic toys/toy parts. She has always done this, althoguh I had expected she would have grown out of this by now. She is other wise a very "normal" child. She does not show any other signs of "oral stimulation disorder" but, I am at loss on how to help her stop this bad habit- we have talked about germs and how your mouth/body incubate them and they in turn can make you very sick, I constantly catch and remind her not to do it, but nothing seems to help. Any suggestions?
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Constantly chewing can be a sign of anxiety or stress.  Could this be the problem?
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Realizing life is stressful & our family life possibly a little more stressful than average, I still don't think this is stress related for her- she has done this for as long as I can remember. It is definitely sort or obsessive compulsive & a hard habit for her to break- but, I am at a loss for how to help her. Having had her teacher express concern is even moreso alarming for me & I am hoping for any ideas in helping to break her of this habit.
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm in agreement that this is a nervous habit.  Maybe you could give her something that is okay for her to chew on, like a straw?  Not that your household or her life is stressful, but it's just what she has picked to do when she is bored or thinking about something or nervous, like some people bounce their foot or twirl their hair.  
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Thank you all for your advice & comments- I am going to try not to bring too much attention to it but also help her know where these items belong (like chewed paper- belongs in the trash). I may ask her teacher if a straw or gum at school might be okay- to avoid staples! I am also going to both try and help her relax/stay calm but keep her busy/not bored.

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my 5 year old does the same thing, although he is otherwise a normal and bright child. he has seen a occupational therapist (recommended by our kindergarten), who says it is sensory seeking behaviour (anxiety or stress is a ridiculous comment). All babies do this to develop this part of their senses, but some children have a delay in it and it needs to be dealt with. We are also seeking a paeditrician next month just to have an overall check.
Merd76
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello, today my sons teacher called me for the second time to let me know that he is putting everything that he finds IE:staples pins any kind of object that he finds in his mouth, he even does this at home too. He is five years old and cannot control himself, I don't know what to do. he is also hyper and full of energy. I feel a a loss and am going crazy!
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973741_tn?1342346373
Hello, the thing to do with a five year old that is doing this is give him appropriate things to put in his mouth----  a straw or coffee stirer or they sell things on occupational sites for this purpose.  Mouthing things is a way to self soothe.  A child may be anxious or nervous or bored when they do this.  

Google sensory integration disorder and see if anything fits your son.  good luck
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Avatar_f_tn
My son somtimes chews on paper and other little things.  I always worry he will choke on some things, but not excessively.  I hope you can find out the cause of this.  I know it's worrisome.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Glad I googled this. Will look more into this sensory integration disorder. My 8 yrd old STILL puts everything in his mouth! Makes me crazy! I found him chewing on an old windshield wiper blade he found! He is a very active but otherwise normal kid. I probably wouldn't have thought it was a big deal but his 4 year old brother has already outgrown it. Hope all of the above have figured something out. If so please reply back.
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I have a 14 year old that chews remote controls, mobile phones and his 4 year old brothers ben ten watch.... It is mainly plastic, and usually when he is in a relaxed state ie watching t.v. He is an active , healthy normal child, but appears to have a fetish for chewing platic objects, would hypnosis aid him in changing this habit????
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Avatar_m_tn
Like others, I am so glad I googled this and found you guys talking about the same issues I have.  My son is 7 years old and will pick up anything and put it in his mouth, he chews his fingers and almost anything that he has in his hands - pencils at school do not last long!  I have been told it is a sensory issue and some have said it is to do with being unsure and not comfortable.  Other than this, he is a very smart boy, but is also someone who does not sit still long, and has to touch everything.  I am hoping that he will grow out of it, but will definitely look into getting him his own chew toys (like a puppy!! ;-)  I always wondered if it had to do with my taking away his pacifier when he was so young??    Am eager to follow this list and see what else people are saying and about kids that are growing out of it.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am so glad I am not alone. My 6 year old son is autistic and he puts EVERYTHING in his mouth. It is soo scary most of the times. Alot of times i don't even realize it until i see it in his stool. I have tried my best to childproof the place but he still finds the smallest things in the weirdest places. I try to keep a plastic straw on had. That usually holds him.
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973741_tn?1342346373
You could also try a rubber chew item shaped in a P or a T designed for chewing and kids.  My son has sensory integration disorder and we got one for him.  They sell them at  occupational therapy websites and in fact have many related items.  some kids really love the ones that vibrate.  Very orally soothing.  good luck
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Avatar_f_tn
To awncer your question no it is not the stress it is probably just in need of talking to someone or chewing  gum mostor the time.
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973741_tn?1342346373
Actually cheerleading, chewing is a self soothing activity that the nervous system creates an impulse for.  it is often much deeper than just wanting to chew gum or talk to someone.  It can be a neurological response to stress.  good luck
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Avatar_f_tn
My nearly seven year old son is the exact same. He has ADHD and I was told this is actually incredibly common for kids with his aforementioned disorder. :-/ I'm thinking of trying those chewlry things? They're pieces of jewelry made for being chewed and they've got some designs geared towards boys as well as girls..
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973741_tn?1342346373
Yes, they are good.  When he gets a year or two older, you can also try things that go on the ends of his pencils at school and some teachers will give a child a coffee stirrer to chew on that they can then just pitch.  It IS a common way of self soothing.  My son was one of the great chewers of his time.  Ha.  He's now 10 and has much less of a desire to do it.  But up to and through the end of third grade, he chewed on sleeves, pencils, etc. so finding good alternatives was important.  good luck.  
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