Ah, yes. Brushing your kids' teeth. The highlight of every parents' day. Kids give parents a hard time when it comes to brushing time. Crazy scenes in the home include playing chase around the home until both of you get tired, pretend-sleeping, hog-tying, or worst, and eardrum-crushing scream from the cranky toddler.
Who hasn't held kids' toys hostage in return for a teeth cleaning, or skipped brushing teeth all together to get out of the stressful situation? Sometimes you wonder why we go through the hassle? After all, baby teeth fall out eventually to be replaced by permanent ones, right?
This is true. However, baby chompers need to be as healthy as possible because they hold the spot for permanent ones. In effect, if baby teeth aren't healthy, the adult teeth that follow them won't be healthy either.
Since children love all-things-fun, why not make brushing time fun, too? Here are a few ideas to encourage stubborn kiddos to pick up their toothbrush and scrub away.
What exactly does this mean? Children love cartoons. Take advantage of this and find interactive stories online which feature their favorite character talking about the importance of brushing teeth. Some websites even feature interactive games online that get the kids to follow along and brush as they watch. If you cannot make your child brush his teeth, maybe Mickey Mouse can.
Channel Your Inner Songwriter
Children love music. It is for this reason that shows like Wiggles is loved by so many toddlers. If you can channel your inner Taylor Swift and create a song from scratch talking about brushing teeth, this is a sure-fire way to encourage your child to pick up the toothbrush and hum along while scrubbing their pearly whites.
If you can't channel your inner songwriter, create a story instead. Perhaps you can have the Caped Crusader battle a Gotham villain, who spreads cavities in the city. Maybe Cinderella and the fairy godmother could join forces to help someone achieve the whitest, cleanest teeth. Whatever you choose, make your story evolves around characters or a plot that your kid can relate to.
Brushing teeth should last for an average of two minutes, a minute spent on cleaning the upper teeth and another minute for the lower ones. However, for kids, two minutes can seem like an eternity. To keep kids from bailing out after 10 seconds, use a cool timer to time their brushing. Kitchen timers usually come in creative shapes. They can distract your kid and help them forget about how long they've been scrubbing. Also, if you feel like splurging, there are toothbrushes that play a two-minute tune when used.