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The morning rush … no bags packed, no clothes ready, breakfast barely eaten, eyeing up yesterday’s coffee ‘cos no time to make more …
AND you missed the message in the book bag advising pirate costume needed today …
AND you’ve got to get them into the bathroom
AND somehow you’ve got to get them to clean their teeth for 2 blinking minutes!
It’s enough to make a grown woman cry! It really is!
I have a high powered, globe trotting friend who is literally reduced to tears by her complete inability to get her kids to clean their teeth in the morning.
Our own attempts are not made easier by the requirement I clean baby bear’s teeth as well. Baby bear is imaginary! Mummy can’t see baby bear!
Mummy has to guess where baby bear is standing. Mummy usually guesses wrong and is advised – after she has wafted a toothbrush in the air for several minutes – that he is “over there” ….!!!!
Although, I count myself lucky.
I heard of one woman whose toddler would only allow their teeth to be cleaned by the family cat. This woman did in desperation, every morning and evening, grab said moggy under one arm and the toddler under the other to get her little darling’s teeth clean!
As it is a truth universally acknowledged that getting your children to clean their teeth is a complete nightmare – I had to slip a tribute to Jane in somewhere today! – I thought we could all use some tips on how to win the battle and I’ve put together a list of my fave 20 …
Teeth Brushing Tips
- Clean your teeth at the same time as them
- Stick to absolute standard routine as to when they are done
- Use the timer on your phone to time 2 minutes exactly … curiously my daughter finds my phone far more authoratitive than me!!
- Have a morning & evening routine picture board that helps them transition from play
- Make up a funny tooth brushing song that marks the transition
- Dole out stickers and more stickers and more stickers!
- A sticker chart + when they fill it they get a new tooth brush
- Have a small special brush for dollies so their teeth can be cleaned at same time
- Get an electric toothbrush … this has made a massive difference to us, they really do improve quality of brushing and some like this one from Phillips (UK) actually come with a 2 minute timer, fun rewards for proper cleaning AND an alert that prompts kids to clean the next bit of their mouth so they’re not just cleaning their front teeth for 2 minutes!
- Let them look in a mirror whilst they are doing it – young kids find themselves hilarious
- Tell a story which stops if the brushing stops
- Let them clean them in the bath so not so boring
- Brush them yourself for the first minute to ensure get a really good clean and then let them clean for the second minute … this is a great way to help them learn to clean more effectively
- Let them brush your teeth 🙂
- Sing Simon Says brush your teeth like … making up funny ways to brush your teeth
- Find a fun song on your phone that is 2 minutes long and make it the tooth brushing song
- Talk about germs … in detail! … most kids are totally fascinated by germs
- Tell them horror stories of what will happen if they don’t clean
- Try this fab experiment from First Grade Factory that helps children to understand how they get holes in their teeth by leaving an egg in a glass of vinegar over night which causes the egg shell to dissolve
- And if you loved that experiment try this one from Milk and Cuddles in which you leave a white egg in a glass of cola until it goes horribly brown and stained and then miraculously clean it with toothpaste!
What about you?
How on earth do you get your kids to clean their teeth properly …
I would love to hear your ideas … do share them below …
And if you enjoyed the post do check out our other practical parenting tips …