Teeth brushing is one of those things kids often really dislike. Obviously, at a very young age, they don't really grasp the ramifications of not brushing and it's our duty as a parent to make sure they do… But it doesn't have to be a perpetual battle! Here are some strategies to smooth the tooth brushing process:
- Make sure they're in the bath room with you when you're brushing your teeth and give them a brush too. They will quickly reenact what you're doing. Doesn't matter if they do a blotchy job. You can offer to help them after you're done. You can start doing this at a very young age, from as soon as they can sit up and hold an object. They'll come to associate the bathroom visit with tooth brushing and might come to ask for it themselves.
- Get them a funky toothbrush. If they're interested in the toothbrush, they'll probably be more inclined using it. Some kids really love electric toothbrushes, so investing in one may be the end of the toothbrushing struggles. When it's time to get a new toothbrush, make them pick out their own. You can even give them money and have them pay for it themselves. Anything that makes them feel like it's their own prized possession will create a greater desire to use it.
- Think about toothpaste, again, they can pick it out themselves or you pick a really fabulous one they'll be inclined to use.
- Make your own toothpaste with your child. There are many many recipes online, and having made it themselves, they're prone to use it.
- Give them their tooth brush on multiple occasions: in the bath tub, in the shower… Just let them play with it and some brushing will occur.
- If the toothbrushing in itself remains an issue, there are lots of other things you can do to ensure dental hygiene: Give them green apples to eat, this also cleans the teeth
- Munching on hard cheeses are also a great way to get your teeth clean and healthy.
- Make sure their diet is optimal for good dental health, which means including lots of healthy fats, fermented cod liver oil, lots of vegetables and greens, as little as possible refined sugars and grains.
- Rub their teeth with coconut oil. Coconut oil also get the bad bacteria out of the mouth and this might be less invasive to them than brushing.
- Give them a piece of liquorice root to munch on. This also cleans the teeth, eliminates bacteria and tastes nice at the same time.
What do you struggle with as a parent? Drop me a line in the comment and I'm sure we can come up with creative solutions.
Image source: Make Less Noise on Flickr