The sensory receptors inside our mouths are responsible for processing information from texture, temperature, and taste. Oral input can improve emotional/ sensory regulation and give a calming response to the central nervous system.
Ideas for oral input at home for regulation:
Eat crunchy/ chewy foods
Drinking through a straw, especially thicker purees such as smoothies, yogurt, pudding, applesauce, provides resistance for an added regulating benefit.
Cold exposure can activate the vagus nerve resulting in a calming effect as it causes a shift in the parasympathic nervous system (responsible for the “fight or flight” response). Popsicles, ice in drinks, cold compress to the neck or top of head.
Sour foods like lemon and sour candy can increase your alert level. (Try chewing sour gum during a test!)
Blowing bubbles, whistles, pinwheels provide deep breathing opportunities to calm.