Brushing my children’s teeth could sometimes be a painful process, especially for me! Because my toddler likes to bite my finger when I use a finger toothbrush. My 3 year old cooperates more, because he plays Dr. Panda on the iPad where he brushes the teeth of different characters. When he refused to brush tonight, I explained that he would get toothaches from the candy he ate which means he can’t eat candy in the future. He quickly went to brush his teeth!
I want to share some tips on brushing teeth, some from our own experiences, and some from the book, “Practical Parenting Tips” by Vicki Lansky.
Tools of the trade
- Use gauze and water: On babies without teeth, simply roll a gauze, dip in clean water and gently scrape his gums and tongue to remove milk build up.
- Finger tooth brush: When babies start growing more teeth, a finger tooth brush can be easier to maneuver than a toothbrush with stick. (Be prepared to get bitten a lot, followed by a naughty adorable grin.)
- Use baby toothpastes without fluoride: Little ones tend to suck toothpaste rather than brushing with it. Besides, fluoride may cause eczema or irritation.
Guiding them to master their brushing technique:
- Make noises together while their teeth is getting brushed, such as a Tarzan yell or a monster roar or kung fu “Yaa!”
- My husband devised a perfect trick. One of you lift up the child while securing his hands with a tight hug, then tickle him. Quick! The other parent brush quickly while his mouth is open. It’s both effective and entertaining( & labor consuming)
- Name every food the child has eaten that day and brush it away.
- Ask the child to open his mouth and help you find monsters, cartoon characters or friends hiding deep in his mouth.
- Make faces. Have a contest to see who can make the most faces while brushing teeth. Keep score while continuing to brush.
- Brush together. Let the child mirror your actions as you brush per section of your teeth.
- Shield your eyes from the dazzling shine of teeth well brushed.
Do you have tooth brushing tips to add to this list?
Every month we present to you, No-Nonsense Mommy Tips by Columnist Carol Ong who touches everyday parenting dilemmas that we all face.By line: Columnist: Carol Ong