When you move from brushing your child’s teeth for them to encouraging them to brush their own, you’re always in for a bit of a battle, especially if your child is Little Miss Independent like mine is. Growing up I was constantly told how important oral care is, and unfortunately I ended up having a bad experience with mine (he’s since been struck off and can no longer practice) which ultimately ruined my smile forever. At the moment it’s not affecting my self confidence too much, but one day should I have a bit more spare cash, I’d definitely consider seeking professional help from somewhere like The Centre of Advanced Dentistry Yorkshire. In the mean time there is no way I’m having that happen to LM so I have been brushing hers day and night since the first one popped through at almost a year (she was late getting them!) But now I’m starting to hand over the toothbrush to her, which has meant fun ways to encourage her to clean for longer than a second. Since May is national smile month, I’ve taken it upon myself to share some ways i’ve tried to make teeth brushing more appealing to a three year old.
Let Them Choose Their Tooth Brush
When LM was ready to graduate to a brush for toddler teeth I took her into a store and let her pick one. She went for a purple princess one with a picture of a castle on it. It was only a couple of pounds and it made her feel excited to go home and use it, which in turn helped me in persuading her to brush her teeth before bed. I also let her sample a fair few tubes of toothpaste before finding one she didn’t mind the taste of, luckily it’s also fluoride free so if she accidentally swallows some it’s not a big deal. Kid’s toothpaste is only £1-£2 so I didn’t begrudge buying multiple tubes to find something she wanted to clean her teeth with, she was definitely not a fan of the fruity flavoured ones!
Pick a Motivational Poster for the Bathroom
Being a single mum and having free run in decorating has definitely had it’s plus points. On our bathroom wall we have a framed poster citing “Even Cinderella Brushes Her Teeth” which is a happy reminder to LM that if she wants to grow up to be a princess she has to remember to brush her teeth. I got it on Etsy when I first moved house and it’s worked like a charm. There are loads of different ones available on Etsy to appeal to both girls and boys.
Lead by Example
I try my hardest to always brush my teeth at the same time as Little Miss. If she sees me doing it she’s more inclined to do it herself. I line the two brushes up with tooth paste on and I let her wet both of them under the tap before we stand and clean. Once I’m done I clean hers to ensure she didn’t miss anywhere before I rinse with mouthwash. She loves standing on her little step beside me at the sink. This way because I’m brushing my teeth I never forget to remind her to do her own.
Download the Oral B Disney Brush Timer App
I have this downloaded but at the moment LM doesn’t use it properly. It is basically an app that uses Disney characters to encourage a child to brush his or her teeth for a decent amount of time. Anything Disney works for LM but we don’t have the right brush to sync up yet because she’s not quite in that age group yet. For anyone with an older kid into Disney this will no doubt be golden.
Getting kids to brush their teeth doesn’t need to be a chore, now tackling them with a dental appointment, that’s a whole other thing!