Brush the Lava Away!
by Heather from Michigan
I introduced a toothbrush to my daughter once her two front teeth developed. She was so fascinated to be doing something mommy was doing. Sharing that experience made her so excited to brush her teeth twice a day. When she turned four, things changed! Walking to the bathroom became a chore, and tasting toothpaste wasn’t ideal either. Even with the bubble gum or berry flavors, she still wasn’t happy to accidentally swallow even the tiniest amount. It became difficult to thoroughly clean her teeth with all of the crying.
Feeling defeated and stressed, I gave up on brushing her teeth consistently. Her two front teeth started to look yellow, and one was even decaying. Finally, I decided that something had to change. I turned brushing her teeth into something less of a chore. We would race to the bathroom pretending the floor was forming lava. The toothbrush was the key to make it disappear. To get her confidence up, I would point out that the longer I brushed, the more yellow came off. No more lava teeth!!
Sticking to the storyline for the game really helped get her back on track. I’d tell her that the longer the lava sat on her teeth, the faster it would melt them. Surprisingly, she enjoyed “getting rid of the lava.” Now her teeth are sparkling clean and beautiful, aside from the one decaying tooth.
Being patient and creative are the best habits to attain when having a child. Most of the time, kids want to be exactly like their parents. The habits we adopt, they will too. It’s okay if those habits are broken. We aren’t perfect, but getting back on track is important! Find ways to make things fun and less like work. Sometimes things feel overwhelming and that’s okay. Take your time to feel defeated with your child. Just don’t give up! Things get easier once you find what works best for you and your child.
This blog was written by one of our guest bloggers, Heather.
My name is Heather and I'm a 26-year-old mommy. I have a sweet, sassy, and difficult-at-times little four-year-old named Emma. It's just us two and our little puppy Charlie. I struggle with anxiety, depression, and a few health issues that cause some struggles like being inconsistent with healthy habits. My daughter is amazing and smart. She helps keep me on track to keep her on track. We always find things to do together to keep us focused, healthy, and mentally on track!
Want more information on brushing your child's teeth? wichealth.org has a free online lesson called Two Minutes Twice A Day For A Healthy Smile. Find it on wichealth.org in the Children 1-5 category!