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*This conversation on Brushing Teeth is brought to you by Brushies. I received product in exchange for my honest thoughts.*
Confession time. I was a horrible teeth brusher as a kid. I hated it, and would actually lie about it to my parents. I never lied about anything else. So when my oldest was born, I was determined she wouldn’t be like me. She would brush her teeth, she would understand it’s importance and never have a cavity.
Oh, how I failed her. When we first started brushing her teeth, she fought us tooth and nail. I recall tears running down her face and mine as I held her arms down so I could get a toothbrush in her mouth. Instead of setting a good example, we scared her from ever wanting to brush her teeth. She is now like I was as a kid, and hates brushing. Thank goodness she was my first, and I learned my lesson. The rest of our kids actually enjoy brushing.
Hopefully, my hard learned lesson will help you with these tips for encouraging kids to brush their teeth.
Brush their little baby gums before they even have teeth. When those first little pearls pop through, they may find the action of brushing them soothing since they’ve been rubbed since birth. We recently got The Brushies which are good for babies 4 weeks up to children 4 years of age. Little Harold just turned 4 weeks, so we’ll be adding gum brushing with MoMo the Monkey into his nightly routine.
Make It Routine
Speaking of routine. That was another area I really had a hard time with creating as a new mom. We had nowhere to be in our day, so we went to bed at different times, bathed when we were dirty, ate whatever we wanted whenever we felt like it. Don’t be like me. Now that I’ve had number 5 I’m trying to be better with a routine, and that includes brushing teeth. By making it a set part of every day at the same time each day, young children will come to expect it and won’t fight it. In fact, they may even find it soothing after a day of running errands and going to school.
I’d say this could be my #1 Tip. If you ignore the rest, do this. Brush your teeth at the same time, and in the same room as your kids. Children love to mimic their parents. Not only will they mimic you, but they’ll see that you are asking them to do something that you also do. If it’s important to you, and they can see that, it will become important to them.
Make it Fun
After you’ve established a routine from an early age, and shown by example how important brushing teeth is, it’s time to make it fun. We have loved The Brushies for turning a mundane task into something more exciting. The storybook is adorable and has Lincoln chasing away the germs with Chomps more than twice a day. When I want to go in for a double check, he lets me because it’s not me prying his mouth open, but it’s Chomps eating the bad guys out of his mouth instead.
The Brushies are a Finger Puppet Toothbrush made out of food-grade silicone. Which means, when my kids run off with them to create other stories around the house I’m not really concerned because I can toss them in the sink and wash them up before the next time we need to brush teeth. You can purchase them online in a gift set of the four Brushies, individually with The Brushies book, or just the individual character Brushies.