The age old struggle of how to get children to brush their teeth. It’s a battle that has gone on through the years, parent versus child, every combination of toothbrush and toothpaste, cute characters, action characters whatever ammunition and propaganda you can use to get your child to brush their teeth, it’s all been done. Actually I shouldn’t be so jovial about it getting your child to brush their teeth is critically important. I’m going to share some of the resources I’ve used to get my boys to brush their teeth and help them to understand why it’s important to do so.
Here are a couple of youTube videos that I found to be really successful, the first one is a beautiful animation explaining why it’s important to brush teeth and look after them.
There’s lots of videos on this subject but this one gets all the points across in a fun and (pardon the pun) polished manner.
The second video is a mum (or mom) brushing her child’s teeth, I think this one works so well as it puts forward an example of a child, at the time slightly older than my boy when I originally found this video. Using the ‘being part of a group psychology’ I think when a child sees another child doing something well and getting rewarded for it then they too want to do it.
Children lean from other children too, they certainly pay more attention than even a video with slick animation?
I bought these two books called ‘How to Brush your Teeth’ and ‘What to eat for healthy Teeth and Gums’, they were only a couple of pounds each but what a great investment they were.
both these two books are avialable from http://www.littlelearnerspublishing.co.uk/our-books/
I find new books much like tweets have a limited shelf life of influence. Any new book tends to get the child’s full attention for a short time. When these two books arrived I let my boy open the envelope up himself saying he has an important letter, we’d read these every day for a few weeks. The information here is presented in a logical way, telling the child what happens when they eat, i.e. their teeth get covered in bacteria, what that bacteria does if you don’t do anything about it and then goes on to show how they can clean it off and have a healthy smile. The second book talks about what different types of food are better for your teeth, they both use the various teeth as characters in the story.
Other than these resources I found brushing our teeth together seemed to help for a limited time at the start to show him that everyone brushes their teeth. I’ve started the my younger boy off much earlier with the toothbrush.
Getting the second child to brush their teeth is slightly easier, perhaps I waited too long with the older child or maybe it’s because the younger child sees the older one brushing and wants to join in too?
What challenges are you facing trying to get your child/children to brush their teeth? What I’m really interested in learning is how you cope with the time pressures of getting them to brush their teeth, especially early in the morning when you’re becoming late for nursery/work? I’m finding that my mornings are really compressed, which is why I’m employing these books and videos at other times of the day in the hope it will save time actually at teeth brushing time. Both videos were useful, but I find referring to the boy in the second video has a more immediate effect to get my boy to brush his teeth nicely.
At at the other end of the day when they are tired and crying for bed, do you make them brush their teeth or give in depending upon the level of tiredness and the resultant wobbly that will be thrown?
What I’d also like to know is how important is it that the child brushes their teeth properly. What I mean is, is the concept of holding a tooth brush and knowing that they should do it enough at toddler age? I’m taking the view that I want him to have an appreciation of why it’s important to do it and then work on the technique afterwards, rather than making it a chore from the start.
Again please share your methods and tactics for teaching your child to brush their teeth, we can all learn from each other. As always thanks for reading.