It’s so important to establish a healthy teeth brushing routine while our kids are little. After the baby teeth are gone, their second set is there for life. Establishing a routine while they are young will ensure the best care of their teeth when they are older.
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There has been a huge shift with our toddler since we started teeth brushing until now. At the beginning she wasn’t a fan. It was a struggle most days to get any of her teeth brushed. Now she does it without hesitation and will usually brush her teeth longer than I do.
My Best Teeth Brushing Advice
- Get a soft toothbrush that your toddler picks out or one you know they will enjoy.
My daughter saw that my husband and I had vibrating toothbrushes, so that’s what she was excited to have. She didn’t want to brush her teeth with me when my toothbrush vibrated and hers didn’t. We went to the store together, tested out different ones and she picked the one that she is using now.
- Make it a routine.
As a family we brush our teeth twice a day, as soon as we get up and before we go to bed. When Baby T wakes up she knows that she first, goes potty and second, brushes her teeth. She remembers the routine so well now that most mornings she is reminding me to get her toothbrush for her.
- Lead by example and make it fun!
Baby T learned to brush her teeth by watch her dad and I. I let her brush my teeth almost everyday. When she brushes my teeth she will allow me to brush hers at the same time (and get those teeth she definitely missed).
Another trick we used to do was turn Baby T upside down. She thought it was so funny and would open her mouth big a wide, this allowed us to brush her back teeth, that she was previously protecting.
- Don’t buy toothpaste that is full of sugar.
As a whole country, I feel like we are conditioning our children to be obsessed with sugar. Sugar is the number one cause of tooth decay and tooth decay is the number one most common disease of childhood. I think it is safer to teach a child to brush their teeth without any toothpaste verses using a tooth paste that is sicky sweet.
Now that Baby T is almost two we have been teaching her how to spit out toothpaste during brushing. I purchased Hello Oral Care Toothpaste for her to practice. This toothpaste is floride free and has no artificial flavoring, sugar or dyes.
- Sing songs.
At first my daughter would only brush her teeth for a couple seconds, literally. I would sing “teeth brushing” songs to persuade her to brush longer. My favorite song is:
- As with everything in life, read books about it!
Some of my favorite books are The Tooth Book by Dr. Seuss, Teeth Are Not for Biting, Brush, Brush, Brush! and Brush Your Teeth, Please.
- Buy a new toothbrush every three month or if a serious sickness goes through your house.
It might sound like a waste but bacteria is going to build up on everyone’s toothbrush. Dentists recommend replacing your toothbrush every 3 months to prevent damaging bacteria from living on your toothbrush and to make sure your toothbrush is in the best condition to clean your teeth. (I have been looking into joining a subscription service with bamboo toothbrushes to prevent waste)
Teeth brushing is part of our everyday lives. Helping your child develop the best teeth brushing routine young is going to make the biggest difference later on.
What are your teeth brushing tips?