I used to get nervous when it was time for my three youngest children to visit the dentist. I have to admit with the rapid increase in our family size I just couldn’t monitor each day whether each child was brushing properly.
I used to get nervous at their checkups because I was certain they were brushing and flossing properly. I knew eventually I’d get the dreaded news one or all of them had cavities.
For me personally, if my child has cavities that’s a poor reflection on me. Two of my children have had to get fillings for cavities prior to adolescence so I knew I had to become more diligent in monitoring their oral hygiene routine.
So as a result of their cavities I got the crazy idea that I should floss and brush the three youngest children’s teeth who were at the time 5,7,9.
Yep…I went through this phase where I was brushing and flossing my school aged children’s teeth all because I didn’t want them to get cavities.
Guess what? That got old real fast. I was driving myself nuts and wasn’t allowing them to take responsibility for their personal hygiene.
From day one I always required them to brush and floss morning and evening, but sometimes they weren’t doing it. I wasn’t sure why but I decided to provide them with some incentives.
Instead of choosing boring plain toothbrushes, I spent a little extra money to find kid friendly toothbrushes.
Right now they are using the Firefly Ready Go Brush that I found on sale while shopping at Target. They weren’t in the oral hygiene aisle with the rest of the products, but down on the aisle end cap. I chose these because they were gender specific, on sale and will be a cool way to encourage my kids to brush thoroughly.
Dentist say each row of teeth should be brushed for a full 60 seconds for proper cleaning but for an easily distracted child sixty can mean anything without some way to gauge the time that has passed. The Firefly Ready Go Brush tells them exactly what they should be doing by its green, yellow and red flashing light indicators.
GREEN: When the light turns green the kids know to start brushing their first row of teeth.
YELLOW: When the light turns yellow the kids know to keep brushing and they are almost done with the first row.
RED: When the light turns red the kids know it’s almost time to stop brushing, reset the toothbrush and start the next row.
Another way that I like to get creative is in my choice of toothpaste. From time to time I let the kids get something fun.
This month they are using Firefly Fluoride Foam Tooth in Bubblegum flavor so there ought to be a whole lot’a brushing going on. These are on sale at Target this week as well if you want to head over and grab some. Again be sure to check the end cap because I didn’t even see these in the aisle at all.
In order to prevent arguments and motivate each child, I went ahead and bought an individual tube for each child. I’m pretty sure my son will not be motivated to brush his teeth if he had to use Barbie toothpaste.
In addition to all this fun stuff, I thoroughly check their teeth. What I look for is signs of plaque or food between the teeth. If they have any of that after brushing, they are sent back to try again.
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Have you ever purchased themed oral hygiene products? Do you think it’s worth it? How do you get your children to brush regularly?