It can be really hard to encourage good dental care habits in kids. For far too many, teeth brushing time becomes a fight. I have 7 great tips to help keep teeth clean and shiny without fuss or fight. Don’t forget to keep scrolling to the bottom of this post for a chance to win the entire product line from Tanner’s Tasty Paste, a great-tasting toothpaste for little giggles and grown-up grins!
Brushing your teeth with your child is a great way to promote healthy brushing habits! When you brush together, you’re showing them the proper way to brush, spit, and rinse, and open the door for conversation about good dental care being a lifelong process. If you and your child use separate bathrooms, try moving your dental care items into their bathroom so you can join in on their brushing fun. It’s a great way to start good dental care habits early.
Find time to add brushing into a certain part of your routine in the morning, for example, getting dressed, eating breakfast, brushing teeth, putting on shoes, and then going about the rest of your day, to be sure you never miss a brushing! Do the same before bed, such as picking up toys, taking a bath, having a night snack, brushing teeth, and then reading a story together. When you do this routine on a regular basis, it becomes a can’t-miss habit and children will look forward to that part of their routine. Additionally, find a fun brushing song that lasts about two minutes, or set a timer. The one that we love is part of the Daniel Tiger Day and Night app, available from PBS kids, in the Amazon and iTunes app stores. You can set it for 2 minutes and it’ll play a catchy tune. However, any egg timer or 2-minute-ish song will work!
Never make dentists a source of fear by creating threats (like “If you don’t brush your teeth, the dentist will have to fix your cavities with a drill!”) When you make dentists a source of fear, dental visits will start causing some anxiety. Instead, praise your child for a good set of brushing habits, and try a reward for cavity-free dental checkups!
Play pretend with stuffed animals or baby dolls, acting out brushing their teeth with an old toothbrush used for play to encourage more healthy toothbrushing habits. In the same way that you demonstrate healthy brushing habits to your child, they can demonstrate healthy dental care to their stuffed animals. By picking up a worn out toothbrush or a cheap one at a dollar store, they can introduce dental play into their play routine, too.
It is never too early to start discussing the tooth fairy, even though most kids don’t start losing teeth until they’re around 6, and share that the tooth fairy likes clean teeth. You can check out a great book like No Tooth, No Quarter, or a fun movie like the Tooth Fairy, to encourage this conversation, depending on your child’s age and stage. By sharing that the tooth fairy likes clean teeth, and helping kids learn about the process of losing teeth, it encourages an exciting dialogue about dental care!
Start cleaning teeth as soon as teeth start coming in, using a baby-friendly paste and a baby-friendly brush. Early dental care will prevent problems down the road, and establish a pattern of good dental care. Even before teeth come to the surface, it’s good to wipe gums with a clean washcloth or gauze pad to clear off plaque that builds up on the gums.
Help kids anticipate tooth brushing time by letting your child pick out their own toothbrush. Let them choose a color or character they love and have them select a brush they’ll look forward to using.
Also choose a really yummy toothpaste, like Tanner’s Tasty Paste. With flavors like Cha Cha Chocolate, you’ll never have a toothbrushing fight on your hands again. In fact, you might end up trying to use your kids’ toothpaste, too, it’s that tasty! I’ll be honest, when Tanner’s Tasty Paste approached me about trying out their line of toothpaste, I was really skeptical as to whether or not the flavors would be any good, and if they were any good, if they’d taste even remotely like chocolate or vanilla ice cream. Now, my son and I use Tanner’s Toothpaste every day. It really does taste spot-on to chocolate and vanilla flavors and is a great way to get Zach excited about dental care.
One thing I especially love about Tanner’s Tasty Paste is that, beyond listing the ingredients on their website, they tell you what each ingredient does for the paste, so you know exactly what you and your child are putting in your mouth– it’s a great way to feel a little safer about the product you’re using.
Check out the Tanner’s Tasty Paste website here, and see the three flavors they have available! Click Here
Now, here’s the big part… a giveaway! Tanner’s Tasty Paste wants to give one of my lucky readers all three of their products: the Cha Cha Chocolate Tasty Paste, the Banilla Bling Tasty Paste, and finally, the Baby Bling tooth paste that is swallow-safe and fluoride free for even the littlest smiles. Would you like to win the product lineup? It’s incredibly easy to enter! Just leave a comment below sharing your top tip for getting kids to brush their teeth, OR let me know which of the Tanner’s Tasty Paste toothpastes you or your kids would most like to try!
The giveaway is open until 4/18/14 at 11:59pm CDT. After that, I’ll email the randomly selected winner!
Disclaimer: Tanner’s Tasty Paste sent me product to try, which is featured in this post. However, all opinions are my own honest views.