toddler teeth brushing: how we do

02 June 2014

ALERT!! This post is sponsored by Aquafresh through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about Aquafresh, all opinions are always my own and the real Grace Patton penned this post .... not a robot. Thank you so much for reading.
 
Okay, okay, okay. I'll admit it! There are some nights that I maybe let the kids' tooth brushing routine slide. They LOVE to "brush" their own teeth ...


... but don't be fooled! They merely pretend to do a thorough job and mimic what they've seen Mom and Dad do but if I want to make sure their teeth actually get brushed I have to get in there and do it myself and sometimes they don't love that.

Luckily, Aquafresh, The little mouth experts have a really great all natural apple-banana flavored training toothpaste that is safe to swallow (thankfully!) and has started to take the torment out of the nightly ritual.

Please use product as directed on the label. You hear, Julia?

Theo can say exactly zero words but he knows exactly how to communicate that he wants to brush his teeth with lots of hand gestures and shouty single syllables and hitting of the bathroom closet door.


So! We've come up with a compromise. The kids can "brush" their teeth for as long as they'd like (Sebastian holds the current record at 25 minutes ... believe it or not) but eventually they have to let Mom or Dad help them out. And by help them out I mean actually brush their teeth. We've enlisted the help of the Aquafresh App that tells us when we've brushed for a full two minutes because did you know that compared to your tooth enamel your baby's is 50% thinner? I did not! And that is why they need expert protection which is where Aquafresh comes in and saves the day around here.


Any tips or tricks for me? I'm always open to veteran wisdom! Or are my kids the only ones serious lacking in brushing skillage? Say it ain't so.


25 comments:

  1. We just switched tactics with our 3 1/2 year old---went from "NO NO NO STOP CHEWING ON YOUR BRUSH" (sorry for the yelling) to "Arghhhwatshmommybrushbrushaaaaaaah" (that's me brushing my teeth with my mouth really wide and instructing at the same time). I feel like an awesome mother, modelling good habits.

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    1. HA. well that's a smart idea.

      Will try that and maybe cut down on the LONG night time routine we've got going on right now :)

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    2. Another trick: Our favorite tooth brushing song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btGqUT2HEKU

      We like this songwriter a lot. Folksy kid music is far less obnoxious than synthesizer kid music. Or Raffi.

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  2. Mine has 3 minutes to do it herself and then I "check" to make sure she got all the spots. In other words, I then brush her teeth for her :)

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  3. Theo. That hair. Gonna be a heart-breaker!

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  4. oh we will try this. my son is OBSESSED with brushing his teeth, but mostly he just wants to squirt the toothpaste on the mirror. sigh.

    http://semiweeklyeats.blogspot.com/2014/06/weekend-outfit-4.html

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  5. I was watching my friend's kids one night and liked the way they did it-- the kids would brush their own teeth and then mom or dad would use the toothbrush to "check". Also, last time I was at the dentist they told me to start using floss pickers on my 3 year olds teeth. I guess they have ones that come in animal shapes to be more exciting...

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  6. Our pediatrician recommended getting one of those kids' spinning brushes, so even if we're only able to make one pass over squirmy toddler's teeth, they get more actual brushing than they would with a regular brush. So far it's been successful! (Although I come nowhere close to 2 minutes of brushing)

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    1. We always had a hard time getting the kids to comply with tooth brushing. But then we got spinning brushes and they think they're fun so brushing is way less stressful. And I feel better that more brushing is happening without battling through as many swipes. I highly recommend. And as much as I like to claim to dislike commercialism, having a Dora toothbrush adds another element of enticement. Also, Grace, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one to let the routine slide on "rough" nights. :)

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  7. My dentist said that kids lack the manual dexterity to brush properly until they are about 6 or 7. I always did the same thing - they could brush first and then it was "Mommy's turn".

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  8. Ack, Theo is KILLING me with that hair! He's totally a young Zack Morris - might need to get him a ginormous cell phone to keep in his pocket ;)

    We let the kids start their brushing, and then we finish up with "silly brushing" where we find different animals and things in their mouths - they adore it! Makes the whole process go a whole lot faster too, because they were spending a loooooot of time "rinsing" and "spitting" (getting toothpaste on their hands and wiping it on the bathroom mirror) before :P

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  9. I know this is all sponsored and whatever. But you know what bugs me about the Aquafresh Apple/Banana? You can't get rid of banana breath with banana tooth paste! And banana breath is the worst. We do the opposite of you, the toddler can brush after we do.

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  10. We brush first, and then let the toddler lose with the toothbrush. For our 19mo, this means putting the brush in his mouth and moving his head around it. lol. Our 4yo does his all by himself. We would let him do it first when he was learning to do it independently. I'd say "Brush so it makes noise!" to make sure he was brushing on the teeth, rather than just his cheeks or whatever. And would also couch him to get all his molars, and then "Brush the front!" and finishing with "Brush your tongue!"

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  11. My little guy is about Theo's age (17 months) and is obsessed with brushing and also says practically nothing! It is killing me that he clearly knows what he wants by pointing, screaming and his usual "eh"..any advice??

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    1. ha! oh I know the "eh!" well!! Sebastian was the same way and he is talking pretty well now. I think it's a boy thing? Someone just emailed me this same question about a 15 month old boy ... so we are not alone!!

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    2. For some children, responding to "eh" or another single syllable as meaningful (like it is an actual adult word) encourages them to keep saying that syllable and not switch to actual adult-like speech. Maybe you and others can try not responding to the unclear syllables until they more closely resemble the adult target word.

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  12. 25 minutes is right around Peanut's record... I will only reapply the toothpaste 3 times. (Somehow she knows this, despite the fact that 10 comes after 2.) I have to ask her to brusha brusha... swish it around... let mommy hear you brushing... and then I do it for her IF she relinquishes it from her death-grip.

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  13. I'm glad you mentioned the toothpaste because the pediatrician told me I need to start brushing Henry's 2 teeth. I was kind of at a loss of how I am going to do this since he will barely let me near his face. Also, you should have seen the look of disbelief on my face when she mentioned I need to be doing it 2 times a day. Yeah, I'll get right on that.

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  14. no tips, no tricks but man, theo's got some great hair swoosh happening there.

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  15. This sounds exactly like how it is in our house! My kids "eat" their brushes I guess is the best way to describe it? Chew? We replace them often. But only after I have officially brushed them. Kids are weird.

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  16. Teeth brushing isn't so calm over here. My four and three year old do okay, but our two and one year old act like it's torture!

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  17. I too have to help out my son brushing his teeth, the amount of toothbrushes we go through because he just seems to chew them all!

    http://pixieronn.blogspot.co.uk/

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  18. Lulu, 3, hatred brushing until we made it a game. Now, she charges in each night to let us know that the sugar bugs are chasing her sparkle princess, and she demands a thorough brush/floss job. And (AND!!!) sits patiently as we do our duty to save the princess. Gold, I tell ya.

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  19. Ah like you my son vinny prefers to brush his own teeth! Yes I have to get on in there at the end ha!

    Liza | Glambeautys Beauty & Fashion Blog | YouTube | Glambambini Family & Lifestyle Blog

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