My kids love brushing their teeth. It’s the one part of their bathroom routine that I rarely have to fight with them over. In face they will randomly decide in the middle of the day that they want to go brush their teeth, and sometime I have to say, “Not right now guys.” Yeah, they ask to brush their teeth and I turn them down. Go figure.
The big kid has an Oral-B electric kids toothbrush. She loves that it’s just like daddy’s. It’s not quite as fancy as her Dad’s, but aside from some graffiti style art along the sides, it does look much the same. It can even charge up on the same base.
But up until now her little sister has had a manual tooth brush. You know, Oral-B stages, Stage 2 for ages 2-4, cute Disney themed graphics; one of those. When I got my February P&G Mom bundle in the mail it included a Monsters Inc. themed power toothbrush. My four year old went wild as soon as she saw it. She was begging me to open it up and let her brush her teeth, immediately, before lunch. It’s a good thing this sucker came ready to go, with Duracell battery already in place.
I remember hearing the official Oral-B spokesperson Dr, Janet Tamo speak at the PGmom launch event back in 2012. She recommended brushing your kids teeth for them up until age eight. She also said, “a lot of parents make the mistake of attacking from the front, dentists say attack from behind.” Sound advice which has stuck with me. The problem is my kids want to feel like they are doing it themselves, they don’t want mom to brush their teeth for them. The compromise is we take turns, they do part of the brushing and mom does part of the brushing. And I do it by standing behind them and wrapping my arms around, sort of like a big hug.
The one thing we do struggle with when it comes to teeth brushing time is keeping at it for long enough. If given free reign, my girls would brush their teeth a dozen times a day for approximately ten seconds a go. The six year old’s big kid brush has a timer built in and it vibrates to let her know she hit the 2 minute mark. I so love that feature! It’s really cut down on the amount of discussion required to keep her at the sink long enough.
For the four year old I’m loving the new Milestones app from Today’s Parent. The app is full of interesting articles to help with everything from naptime to potty time, and also cool tools such as a diaper diary, feeding log and sleep tracker for those with newborns, and for the older kids a nap tracker, potty pal and brush buddy. The brush buddy portion of the app is a two minute timer that plays music while showing a toothbrush working away at various parts of the mouth, as cartoon style foods get cleaned up and fly off the screen, and a voice calls out to let you know when it’s time to switch to a different part of the mouth. My daughter really gets a kick out of it, and it’s definitely helping with keeping us at the sink for the full two minutes. (The app is free and it’s out for the iPhone and iPad via the iTunes store if you want to check it out.)
How do you handle tooth brushing time? Do you lend a hand or leave the kids to their own devices? I’d love to hear your tips for helping your kids develop good oral hygiene habits.
Disclosure: I am a P&Gmom. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events and opportunities. The opinions on this blog are my own. By entering this contest you are accepting that if you win your contact information will be shared with P&G PR and shipping agency for the purpose of mailing your prize. Please allow 4-6 weeks from the contest closure date to receive your prize.