Do you have a toothbrushing routine for your kids?
I’ve been working really hard on teaching my toddlers about the importance of brushing their teeth every day. Of course, Elijah and Michala know how to brush their teeth because they are much older than my little ones. Sometimes Zhen and Zechariah are excited about brushing their teeth and then there are those times where they are resistant to it. It’s hit or miss with toothbrushing for the toddlers, but as I said, I am working hard on teaching them this has to be a daily practice.
There are a few ways Travis and I keep the toddlers motivated to brush their teeth every day. We buy toothbrushes with their favorite characters on them such as Batman and Hello Kitty. Sometimes when we’re at the store, I let Zhen and Zechariah pick out a toothbrush they like. They really love this because they like choosing their own toothbrush.
Teaching My Toddlers to Brush Their Teeth
Zhen is finally at the stage where she understands how to properly brush her teeth. She knows she has to spit out the toothpaste and she understands she needs to brush her teeth with the toothbrush and not play around with it. Zechariah, on the other hand, is still really young. When I give him his toothbrush with toothpaste on it, he wants to eat the toothpaste and just chew on the toothbrush like it’s a lollipop.
I end up brushing his teeth for him, but I always talk him through the process. Sometimes I will even put his hand on the toothbrush with my hand over his to show him how to brush his teeth. I know it will take a little more time for Zechariah to get the hang of brushing his teeth, but the important thing is we introduce him to it and make it a daily habit.
If you’re looking for a few tips on how to get your kids excited about brushing their teeth regularly, here are a few suggestions you may find of interest. Let me know what you think in the comments section below!
1. Establish a routine.
Just like you make other life essentials a routine for your kids, i.e. bathtime and potty training, toothbrushing needs to also be part of your daily routine. Talk with your children and let them know it’s important to brush teeth in the morning time after breakfast and in the evening time before bed. Once your kids understand brushing their teeth is part of their regular morning and night routine, brushing their teeth will be a natural habit for them.
2. Make the routine fun.
Making toothbrushing time fun for your kids will keep them engaged and also help them learn all about dental care. This is especially true for little ones who are just learning about using a toothbrush. For Zhen and Zechariah, I like to make it fun for them by singing silly songs while they brush their teeth. Elijah (17) likes to turn on one of their favorite songs and they do a little dance while they brush their teeth.
Create a fun toothbrushing activity that works for your family and your kids will look forward to brushing their teeth with minimal complaints.
3. Go toothbrush shopping!
During your grocery shopping trip, have your child pick out his favorite toothbrush. Of course, you will want to make sure the toothbrush is in your budget. There are so many cool, budget-friendly toothbrushes for kids, like this fun Dr. Fresh Kids’ Toothbrush Fun Pack. Zhen and Zechariah love picking out their own toothbrush. They always get so excited to take their toothbrushes home and brush their teeth.
Here are few more toothbrush options for kids you may like:
Barbie Reach Kids Soft Toothbrushes – 2 Count, $2.97
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Colgate Kids Toddler Toothbrush – 2 Count, $3.96
Firefly® Star Wars Light Saber Soft Toothbrush, $4.26
My First Colgate® Kids Toothbrush Extra Soft – 6 Count, $11.37
4. Brush your teeth with your kids.
One great way to teach your kids about brushing their teeth is to brush your teeth with your kids. Our children learn many of our life habits by watching us. If you take the time to include your children with your own toothbrushing routine, then they will be more likely to brush their teeth, too!
5. Keep gums clean beginning with newborns.
Did you know it’s important to establish healthy dental care habits as early as the newborn stage? According to Great Expressions Dental Centers (GEDC), it’s critical to keep gums healthy for the proper development of teeth.
GEDC recommends wiping your baby’s gums with a clean baby washcloth. When your baby gets his first tooth, gently brush his teeth with a soft baby toothbrush.
6. Make going to the dentist fun.
It is recommended for children to visit the dentist twice a year. Unfortunately, many children are scared to go to the dentist. If your child is scared to visit the dentist, you can help make her experience stress-free. GEDC offers a few helpful suggestions.
use music to make going to the dentist fun
let your child bring her favorite stuffed animal
educate your child on dental visits with a kid-friendly book (We love checking out fun books about the dentist at our local library.)
On the importance of visiting the dentist as a child, Dr. Robert Brody, Chief Clinical Officer at Great Expressions Dental Centers says:
“We continually see young patients that suffer from tooth decay and cavities due to lack of proper dental hygiene. Many parents don’t recognize the negative effects of unhealthy baby teeth because they know they will be replaced with adult teeth. It’s critical we care for children’s teeth at early stages, as baby teeth serve a number of critical functions, including speech development.”
7. Teach your child how to floss.
Toothbrushing is not only important to healthy dental care. Flossing is also essential to keeping teeth healthy. According to DenTek and Propeller Insights, more than 50% of consumers say their parents didn’t teach them how to floss and only one-third of parents say their children floss every day. You can help make flossing fun for your kids by using fun DenTek Kids Fun Flossers.
Zhen and Zechariah love using the Fun Flossers because of the bright colors and wild fruit flavored fluoride. The Fun Flossers do not easily break, they fit kids’ hands and teeth, and the flossers help remove food and plaque from kids’ teeth.
8. Watch fun videos about establishing healthy dental hygiene habits.
There are many fun videos you can watch with your kids to teach them about the importance of brushing their teeth. Here’s a short YouTube video from Sesame Street teaching children about brushing their teeth.
Do your kids love to watch Bubble Guppies? If so, they may enjoy watching the “Bubble Guppies” DVD which features “Bubble Bites”— an episode about brushing teeth.
Here are some more fun options for teaching kids about brushing their teeth.
Soft Dentist Toy Kit, $15.99
Brush Your Teeth Please: A Pop-Up Book by Leslie Mcguire, $11.56
Did you know February is Children’s Dental Health Month?
In celebration of Children’s Dental Health Month, here are two fun contests you can share with your family and friends.
1. Join the “No Cavity Club” at your local GEDC.
Great Expressions Dental Centers are celebrating the commitment to dental hygiene by launching their “No Cavity Club”. For each cavity-free visit at a participating GEDC office, throughout the month of February, pediatric patients will be entered to win a variety of prizes, including a bike, movie bundle, electronic toothbrush, and more!
Visit GEDC’s official website for more information or you can call (888) 764-5380 to schedule an appointment.
2. DenTek’s 30-Day Family Floss Challenge
DenTek is providing the reward families need with the 30-Day Family Floss Challenge and the chance to win an array of great prizes to motivate families to make flossing a part of their oral care routine.
You can also win movie tickets, gift cards, and a grand prize redeemable for $2,500! You can learn more about the challenge here.