This post has been sponsored by Orajel™. All opinions are mine alone.
In our collection of children’s books, we have a well worn board book copy of The Tooth Book by Dr. Seuss. Our son used to love to have us read it to him over and over, night after night. As cute as the rhyming tale may be, it shares a very important subject and reminder – “once you get that second set, that’s all the teeth you’ll ever get.” Caring for those teeth (both sets) starts at the gums before babies have even gotten their first tooth and is important not just for good teeth, but good health overall throughout their lives.
With both kids, we started brushing their teeth and gums as soon as the first tooth made an appearance. Truthfully, brushing infant and toddler teeth is an adventure. Both of my kids have often preferred to do it themselves. In the case of a certain toddler right now, that means she wants to use the brush to teethe on – it’s perfect for getting to those first year molars trying to break through!
She loves to help though and will often keep one hand on the brush. If she’s in a more
stubborn independent mood, I’ll let her have free reign for a minute or two. Or, I’ll hand her a second brush to keep her hands busy while I use the first one to gently clean her teeth.
Teach Proper Techniques
When we assist with brushing, we teach our kids how to gently brush their teeth and gums. I’ve learned personally how brushing too hard can damage gums and it is something I’m trying to help prevent my children from experiencing.
Another helpful tool are the toothbrushes themselves. Orajel™ children’s toothbrushes feature color coded bristles to visually instruct where and how much toothpaste to apply. While my son would happily squeeze on a big glob, all that is needed is no more than a pea-sized amount – a little bit really does go a long way.
We do our best to work with both kids to brush for 2 minutes twice a day. A simple hourglass timer our dentist gave us works for our son, but life isn’t so simple with a toddler! She loves to see what’s going on which is why I carefully hold her sitting on the counter where she can see in the mirror. But, of course, keeping a toddler still and focused on a task for 2 minutes isn’t an easy feat. Singing to her often works best as a distraction giving her something else to focus on while I get those teeth clean. For now, she can’t seem to resist the motions to “Itsy Bitsy Spider” so I’ll sing that to distract her and keep her hands busy!
The end of the day can be the toughest time. Our son has year round school. He gets periodic breaks, but, for the most part, we’re dealing with exhaustion from a long day plus homework nearly every weeknight. Since he’s 6-1/2 years old, he likes to do almost everything himself – including caring for his teeth (we do go behind and check). I made and framed a simple reminder to post in the bathroom to help him at these tired moments: Brush Floss Rinse.
And, of course, fun products like Orajel™ Spider-Man™ themed Berry Blast toothpaste help as well because what 6 year old superhero doesn’t want “super” toothpaste?
Lead by Example
Both kids see us brush our teeth most mornings. A few times I’ve even gotten down to my daughter’s level and let her help hold my toothbrush to brush my teeth – she finds that hilarious for some reason. Even so, it helps me make the point with my actions, that we all brush our teeth and this is how it’s done.
What are your tips for helping kids establish healthy teeth habits?
I’m excited to be a part of the Orajel™ Smilehood Community for 2016 and share with my readers tips & products that can help our kids achieve healthy teeth. Healthy teeth go beyond just a pretty smile – they can improve your overall health.