Two minutes twice a day for a healthy smile
Sometimes it can be challenging to ask your child to brush her teeth when she is immersed with her art activities, or when she is playing or watching. My child started brushing her own teeth when she was barely 18 months old. At that time, she was so excited she wanted to do it all the time – more than 3x a day! But as she grew older, it became a bit difficult to call her to brush her teeth. Most of the time, she rushes to brush her teeth in less than a minute, and continues her disrupted activities.
The American Dental Association recommends 2 minutes of brushing at least 2x a day. I am proud to note that when my daughter had her first dental checkup before entering preschool at 4 years old, she did not have any cavities and she just had a fluoride wash. Some of the things I did in order for my daughter to become excited to brush her teeth are:
Let her choose the toothbrushes and cup she likes. I gather the toothbrushes and cups in the store that are within my budget and within her age range and ask her to choose the designs she likes. I do not recommend just letting your kids choose through the shelves because there are specific toothbrush sizes for kids depending on their ages and they might get frustrated when they cannot have what they want.
Let her choose the toothpaste flavor she likes, too, after screening them.
Read to her books where her favorite character brushes his teeth. My daughter loves Daniel Tiger and he actually influenced her with her routine on brushing her teeth after breakfast and before going to bed. (In reference to Daniel Tiger’s Day and Night).
Now in order for her to brush her teeth longer and make it fun:
I hum or sing her favorite toothbrush song along while she brushes her teeth. I point the areas she needs to brush while we are doing this. There are many songs about dental hygiene but my daughter likes Mother Goose Club’s “ Brush Your Teeth” song.
And the best advice is to brush your teeth along with your child especially before going to bed. My husband and I take turns brushing our teeth with our daughter when we can. We go through the whole mouth: front teeth, back of the front teeth, molars, up left, down left, up right, down right and tongue. This makes her look forward to the activity and at the same time, brush her teeth properly.
This blog was written by one of our guest bloggers, Stephanie.
I love writing, cooking and traveling. Being a mother is an adventure itself and I aspire to learn more and share what I learn as I go through this motherhood journey.
In this week's guest post, Stephanie shares her ideas for encouraging her child’s healthy toothbrushing habits. If you would like to learn more on this topic, consider taking our free online lesson called: Two Minutes Twice A Day for a Healthy Smile. You can find this lesson in the Healthy Families category.