I am curious to get your opinion on caring for you kids teeth. You see…at my house…brushing our teeth can be SUCH a chore. I know I am not the only mother out there that struggles to make this habit fun!
To be honest, P just started regularly brushing his teeth in the last 8 months or so. And yes he is 3.5 years old. Before that, it was hit or miss. We may brush them one day and it may be 3 days before I would make him brush them again.
I finally decided that if I just consistently make it a habit when he gets up in the morning then it will eventually become easier. So, the second he’s out of bed and headed to the potty…we also brush our teeth.
If I am speaking honestly, I rarely get him to brush his teeth in the evening. Call me lazy, but I hate fighting it. I know he should be brushing twice a day now, but I just don’t have the energy to stay on him about it. I’m still working on drilling this in to our night-time schedule.
Luckily, he’s been to the dentist on three separate occasions and so far….his teeth looked good! Phew.
But, getting him to cooperate at the dentist was a whole other battle. You’ve been there right?
The first trip was a nightmare. He literally did not even want to open his mouth for our dentist. The closest he got to getting his teeth cleaned was that he at least sat in the chair. Other than that…he wanted nothing to do with the hygienist.
Then he had a chance to get his teeth cleaned at pre-k. They have a local dentist from SIU come over and clean the kids teeth. I opted for P to be involved. I thought it would help him get warmed up to the idea if he saw all his “fwends” doing it too.
To my surprise, I was right. I got a picture from a friend that was there and this is what I saw….
WOW. Not only did he let them put the sunglasses on him, but she is actually flossing! I got the report back and it said he did great! I must say I was proud, but VERY shocked!
Then it was time to go back to our family dentist…and again…he did great! It took a little coaxing (and I may have promised him ice cream), but he did very well! He was even happy to show me his pearly whites after they were cleaned!
I think Bents is going to be way easier to train when it comes to the teeth cleaning. He is already (at 14 months) brushing. Or chewing on the tooth brush. Whichever you want to call it.
He sees his big brother doing it and he wants to do it too!
In case you need some tips on how to get your toddler to brush, here are my thoughts:
1. Buy a fun toothbrush with your childs favorite character on it. I even let P pick his own out.
2. If your child is an independent soul like mine…allow him/her to brush on their own. Guide them by saying, “ok, now get the top ones…and the back ones…and don’t forget those front ones”. Sure, they may not be doing a perfect job, but the key is is that they are doing it. Eventually they will get better at it.
3. Brush with them. Sometimes if they see you doing something then they will want to follow. When P first started brushing I use to do my teeth too. This gave him something to follow. He knew that he needed to keep brushing until mommy was done brushing hers.
And here are two tips that I may or may not recommend. But, HEY, they have worked for my son:
4. Tell them they have “poopy breathe”. I joke with P and say “OH MY…YOU HAVE POOPY BREATHE. YOUR FRIENDS WILL NOT WANT TO PLAY WITH YOU WITH THAT KIND OF BREATHE.”
5. I also may or may not threaten him that his teeth will “rot out” if he doesn’t go brush them. I even say “Hurry hurry, before they rot out. Go fast.”
Now when I tell him we need to brush his teeth he will say, “why momma? Are my teeth gonna wot out?”
Hey, a little threatening never hurt anyone. He will even come to me and say, “momma – we need to go bwush my teeth or their gonna wot out. Hurwy.”
You most likely won’t find my kind of advice on baby center, but I’m just trying to be real here people. Call me a bad mother, but I’m a bad mother with a child who has clean teeth. 🙂
So, I’m curious, what non-conventional methods have you used?