April is National Oral Health Care Month. I know it doesn’t sound all that exciting but taking care of our oral health is so important. And I know what a challenge it can be when it comes to getting our little ones to take care of their teeth. It doesn’t matter how many times you talk to them about “sugar bugs” and cavities, a lot of kids just like to fight when it comes time to brush those pearly whites.
My little one is almost five now and some days taking care of her teeth is not a big deal but other days, especially if it’s just before bed and she’s a little tired and grumpy, it’s a chore getting her to brush. So over the years we’ve figure out a few tips and tricks that we’ve found helpful:
Use the right toothpaste
Sometimes something as simple as a tube of toothpaste with a character on it that your little one knows and loves is enough to get them excited about brushing their teeth. For the really little ones (under two) you can try Elmo Baby Orajel. Baby Orajel is a fluoride free product that is safe to use to clean little gums and teeth and is perfect for teaching toddlers how to brush. Once they are a little older and are ready for toothpaste with flouride Orajel has more cool characters like Bubble Guppies and Super Mario.
Also experiment with the different toothpaste flavours to find the one your kids enjoys the most.
Get the right brush
This might be one of the easiest ways to get your child excited about brushing their teeth! There are so many options now when it comes to toothbrushes that you are sure to find at least one that is perfect for your kid.
This Tooth Tunes singing toothbrush from Arm and Hammer is my little one’s current favourite brush. Not only is it electric which is fun but it plays a full two minutes (the perfect amount of time for teeth brushing) of music that not only gets my little one bopping while she’s brushing but she loves that she can actually feel the vibrations from the music in her mouth while she brushes! There are also some other non signing but equally as cool character brushes like the My Little Pony or Super Mario Spinbrushes. They are battery powered and a great way to get kids practising healthy habits. I highly recommend taking your child tooth brush shopping so they can pick out their own brush!
Make it fun
One of the tools that got our daughter excited – actually looking forward to brushing her teeth – was a fun kid’s tooth brush timer app for the phone. There are lots of them out there (most of them free) so just do a little exploring until you find the one that works for them.
For the really little ones a rewards system with stickers can be pretty enticing! Make a small chart that you can hang in the bathroom and let her pick out a special sticker to put on it every time she brushes.
Make a game out of it – brush your own teeth at the same time and see who can make the most bubbles in their mouth!
Be a good roll model
When it’s time for your child to brush their teeth get in there with them and brush your own. Not only is it setting a good example but it’s also the perfect opportunity to make sure they are doing a good job and teach them proper brushing skills. Get down to there level so they can get a good look at what you’re doing. And if they want to help you brush your teeth go ahead and let them.
Make toothbrushing an adventure
The evil plaque ogres have invaded the beautiful mountains of smileville. It’s time to call in the big guns with their magic potion to defeat the ogres! Use whatever story makes your child excited about getting in their and being the super hero of the story!
Make brushing a consistent routine
Most kids do best with routines so try to be consistent with their brushing routine. Try and do it at roughly the same times every day.
Some day your child will understand the importance of good oral health and getting them to take care of their teeth (and gums) will not be such a challenge.
Of course oral health isn’t just for kids! Check out the New Arm & Hammer™ Spinbrush Manual brush to blast away plaque and keep your smile shining bright. For all the sweet tooth’s out there, it can be hard to resist those decadent desserts. But foods high in sugar, even fruit and wine can stain your teeth. Try Arm & Hammer™ Truly Radiant™ Rejuvenating Paste to tackle tough stains left on your teeth from one too many sweet treats. And make sure you know the warning signs of trouble in your mouth. Thing like bleeding, red or swollen gums or bad breath that won’t go away could be signs of gum disease and should be looked at by a dentist. Take all the preventative measures you can, such as staying away from tobacco and practicing good overall lifestyle habits that will help you be your healthiest, and best self.
Do you have some tips or tricks to get your kids at the sink and brushing? I’d love to hear some more!