Every stage of parenting brings it’s own challenges and this week in our house it’s the “no teeth brushing” challenge. Trust me, it does not even remotely resemble the peaceful happy stock images I found when looking for a pic to go with the blog. It’s more like a two parent struggle to wrangle a screaming octopus, which is somewhat handy because at least his mouth is open to get the tooth brush in!
We tried the gentle no tears approach, but after watching Jamie Olivers Sugar documentary and seeing the bubbas getting their baby teeth pulled because of massive decay, it was time to step up and take the hold no prisoners parenting approach. Determination has kicked in…
I’m a first time mum, so the disclaimer stands, like most new mums I’m working it out as I go along and add the blogs as I find stuff that’s useful or interesting to collate it all in one place. Hope it helps…
I could list the 42 steps it takes us to get the job done, chat about all of the approaches we tried to gently persuade our lil guy to open his jaws without tears and chat about the amount of wine I drank trying to get over the ordeal that starts with “Time to clean your teeth”
Really that’s all seriously boring and after chatting to my wonderful mums group, it seems we’re all fighting the same battle in various ways. Instead heres three things that helped in our house…. 4 if you count the recovery wine! The good news, the battle has turned into giggles and is getting easier every day. Power to you mummas!
OK here goes…. the three things that made a difference.
1. Youtube videos showing other kids brushing their teeth:
Sitting on our lap singing teeth cleaning songs made me a little mental, but the distraction worked to at least get his mouth open wide enough to get a toothbrush in.
This is my number one video – Sesame Street – Elmo cleaning his teeth with some of his celebrity friends Bruno Mars, Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts and more. It’s a fun song about oral health.
This is the way we brush our teeth from Little Baby Bum is a little easier to sing when you don’t have the video handy! I also like that this one sings about how to do it. Good timing as well to keep brushing for the duration of the song.
Brush your teeth from Story Bots has a catchy tune with the “Ch-ch-ch-ch” chorus and it’s so cute when my boy mimics the sound!
2. Books and play:
Reading How to brush your teeth with Snappy Croc. After the book, we brush his toys teeth… This partly worked because when it came to the real deal he smiled and made the noise of teeth brushing with no contact with his teeth, still small wins, I’ll take it. It is a loooooong tedious process to get to the end game.
3. Make it a game:
This is the winner so far, the tickle your teeth game to tickle out some of the monsters that hide right down the back. This starts of as a fight but is relaxing into giggles more and more quickly. It’s still a two person job but at least I can sleep without the mumma guilts of my kids baby teeth falling out prematurely because I couldn’t get a toothbrush in!
I’m using the Jack and Jill toothbrush and flavoured toothpastes. I’ve tried banana and blueberry flavour and love them because it doesn’t matter if the toothpaste is swallowed being natural, you can get them from Biome, lots of cute designs and flavours.
Tip: You brush their teeth, then let your child have a turn. Kids lack the necessary motor skills to effectively brush their teeth until they are much older.
I found this vid on brushing babies teeth that I thought may have all the answers – it’s from a dentist with his own son. I could only dream it was so simple in our house! Here’s what he says…
“I’m Dr. Aaron Johnson and I am here to talk about brushing baby’s teeth.
My little guy is starting to get his teeth, he’s got several on the top and bottom. This is his toothbrush. You want to choose a toothbrush that has a thick handle, so he can grab on to it, and a tiny head so it doesn’t go back too far and gag him. Once you’ve chosen the proper toothbrush, you want to focus on brushing the child’s teeth, but don’t forget the gums. The reason you want to brush the gums is that it is a massage to help him get used to brushing the other areas so that when other teeth come in he will be used to it. Then hand the toothbrush over after you’re done brushing, because the idea, and the eventual goal is to help him take care of his own teeth. I’m Dr. Aaron Johnson, helping you, and you’re child, feel better about your smiles.”
Tip: from our dentist – If you really fight with the toothbrush, encourage your baby to have a drink of water after he eats to rinse out his mouth.
The lovely Jenny has also created this lovely infographic and you can learn more about taking care of your child’s teeth on her blog Mom Loves Best.com
You can read more tips on baby dental care on the Raising Children website.
Heres cheers to a much happy teeth cleaning journey from here!
Whats worked for you? Seriously, please share your tips. You never know who’s life you can make just a little bit easier with something as simple as removing the teeth brushing fight!
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