Here’s my latest motherhood confession: I find it nearly impossible to get my two year old to brush his teeth properly. (Or, even — let’s be even more honest — sometimes at all.)
Brushing my toddler’s teeth quickly devolves into a wrestling match. You would think that a woman who is more than four times the size and weight of her child would always win this battle. You would be wrong.
Here’s what I try to get my son to brush his teeth, or allow me to get a toothbrush in his mouth:
1. I make up lyrics about the fun of brushing teeth based on his favorite songs. (“The toothbrush in the mouth goes round and round, round and round, up and down….”)
2. I bribe. (“I’ll read you two more books if you let Mommy brush your teeth.”)
3. I do sneak attacks.
4. I ask my husband to hold him down.
5. I let him brush my teeth and then all his stuffed animals’ teeth and next try to get him to brush his own teeth.
Sometimes one of these techniques work. Sometimes they don’t.
But here’s why I’m worried…
- Over 50% of kids will have some tooth decay before they turn 5.
- Oral infection is the leading cause of chronic disease in children.
And my son doesn’t even eat candy yet!
OTCSafety has put together a fantastic infographic about oral care, especially during Halloween time, when I’m sure many kids consume far more candy than usual. OTCSafety also has great tips about how to use flouride-based products in kids.
I know oral care is important for my son’s overall health and I know that brushing properly and regularly is critical.
I’d love to hear your tips for how to encourage good oral care in your children! What are your suggestions for how you get your kid to brush his teeth?
Disclosure: I received compensation for this post as part of the CHPA OTC Safety Ambassador Program. All the opinions reflected here are my own.