Chewing on Clothes Causes: Understanding the Causes and Solutions

Chewing on Clothes Causes
Chewing on Clothes Causes

Chewing on clothes is a peculiar and concerning behavior that some individuals, especially children, exhibit.

This article aims to explore the reasons behind this symptom, potential underlying issues, and effective strategies to address it.

In some cases, chewing on clothes causes can be an indicator of anxiousness, ADHD, or a developing concern, so it’s a great suggestion to allow a medical professional recognize if it’s a persistent practice your child has trouble controlling.

If you’ve noticed someone chewing on their clothes, whether it’s a child or an adult, understanding the possible causes can help in finding appropriate solutions.

1. What is Chewing on Clothes?

Chewing on clothes is a repetitive behavior where individuals gnaw, bite, or suck on their clothing items, such as shirts, collars, sleeves, or hems.

This behavior can be intentional or unintentional and may occur due to various factors.

2. Reasons for Chewing on Clothes

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)

Individuals with Sensory Processing Disorder may use chewing as a coping mechanism to self-soothe or regulate sensory input. Chewing on clothes provides oral stimulation, which can help them feel more grounded and calmer.

Anxiety and Stress

Chewing on clothes can also be a sign of anxiety or stress. It may serve as a way to release tension and nervous energy, providing a sense of comfort during stressful situations.

Oral Fixation

Some individuals develop an oral fixation, where they seek oral stimulation as a way of comfort or distraction. Chewing on clothes may be a manifestation of this fixation.

Developmental Stage

In young children, chewing on clothes can be a normal part of exploration and teething. It is crucial to differentiate between developmental exploration and potential underlying issues.

3. Identifying Problematic Chewing

While some instances of chewing on clothes are harmless, it can become a problem when:

Interfering with Daily Life

Chewing on clothes starts to interfere with daily activities, such as eating, talking, or social interactions.

Damaging Clothing

The behavior causes significant damage to clothing items, leading to increased expenses for replacements.

Potential Health Risks

Chewing on clothes may pose health risks if the clothing contains harmful chemicals or small parts that could be ingested.

4. Strategies to Address Chewing on Clothes

Provide Alternative Chew Toys

Offering safe and appropriate chew toys or chewable jewelry can redirect the chewing behavior away from clothes.

Sensory Tools

Individuals with Sensory Processing Disorder may benefit from sensory tools like chew necklaces or fidget items that can provide oral stimulation.

Identify Triggers

Understanding the triggers that lead to chewing on clothes can help address the root cause of the behavior.

Occupational Therapy

For individuals with SPD or developmental concerns, occupational therapy can provide strategies to manage sensory-related behaviors.

5. Seeking Professional Help

If chewing on clothes persists and begins to impact daily life significantly, seeking advice from a healthcare professional, therapist, or pediatrician is essential to assess any underlying issues.

6. Chewing on Clothes in Children – Why do Children Chew on Clothing or Apparel Things?

As we pointed out previously, dental sensory looking for could be the reason babies and infants typically put points in their mouths.

This could happen between the duration of 18 and also 24 months yet after that, the routine of a youngster’s chewing must pull up.

If it doesn’t, it could be due to the complying with factors:

Developmental Delay

The first and foremost reason that your kid has not quit their chewing actions after the period of 18-24 months is due to the fact that they might experience hold-ups in their development and also advancement.

f your youngster has not strike the best developmental turning points at the right ages, they can proceed with their chewing behavior well after they are past the suggested age restriction.

Oral Concerns

This could be one more reason your youngsters chew on clothing products. Many parents have actually reported this issue in their kids and it has actually been seen that many kids that are older eat on their t-shirts or clothes when they are confronted with dental concerns.

This can especially take place when the molars are appearing or if your child has a dental caries in their teeth.

If your child is a bit timid, reserved, and also withdrawn, then these non-verbal cues are essential to see as this is exactly how they will certainly convey the problem they are having in their mouth.

The Problem could be Connected To ‘Pica’.

This is an one-of-a-kind problem that can generate the habits of eating clothes in your youngster.

If your youngster is detected with this problem, they will have a tendency to eat or chew on points or things that are completely non-edible.

Sensory Overload.

This could be another reason why you are faced with the trouble of your kid eating on clothing or various other non-food items.

Sensory overload is the problem when your youngster chews on things to soothe their central nerve system completely.

Mostly, this condition is extremely prevalent in cases of children who have some type of discovering handicap, autism, or sensory handling disorder.

This generally happens when there is too much sensory input coming from the surrounding atmosphere for the kid to procedure. Thus they resort to eating which gives them the oral sensory seeking of self-regulation.

Stress and anxiety and Anxiety.

Scientists have additionally discovered that anxiety as well as anxiety condition could be one more leading cause behind the problem of kids chewing on their clothes or tee shirts. Much like adults, kids encounter tension but at a completely various degree.

A damaged toy or a dispute with a good friend might absolutely give them rounds of anxiousness, specifically when their mental advancement of rationale is not that solid. In such cases, they begin eating on tee shirts or clothing as an outlet for that stress and anxiety.

Dullness as well as Coping Device.

Considering that children are not that fully grown, they respond to monotony in various methods. As an example, just out of boredom, they could start their chewing behavior.

Or it can extremely well become a habit as a result of your child’s reflex or oral addiction. In some cases, children utilize their chewing habit as a coping system for absence of emphasis.

This is why it has been seen that some youngsters start putting the cuff of their shirt or the neckline of their clothing into their mouth when they need concentrating hard sufficient on something specific.


Chewing on clothes is a complex behavior that can be caused by various factors. Whether it’s a sensory response, anxiety, or developmental exploration, addressing this behavior with appropriate strategies is vital.

Identifying the cause and implementing effective solutions can help individuals find healthier ways to cope and regulate their emotions.

Read more: Foods That Go Straight To Your Butt


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