Brushing teeth can often be seen as a chore by the kids which is worrying given the importance of them looking after their teeth. There is a great dental community here in San Diego which has so much support and incentives which seek to try and enforce the importance of good oral hygiene, and after a visit to seeour dentist, he suggested some ideas to inject a little bit of fun into brushing teeth. These ideas were being talked about in some schools here in California, and so I decided to try them out at home, and things have gone far better than I expected.
A toothbrushing song was something which I never would have thought would work with my kids, but they do love music and so we decided to try it out. We didn’t, as was suggested in the leaflets, come up with an original song for these moments, but the kids love Michael Jackson and so we chose to Beat It, change the name to Brush It where possible. The kids love this ritual of getting the music ready before they clean their teeth, and it also makes the time go much quicker.
One suggestion was to put a timer next to the bathroom sink, to keep the kids focused on how long they should be brushing their teeth for. Something I didn’t anticipate, although I probably should have, was that the kids would very quickly turn this into a competition, to see who could brush their teeth the longest. This helps to make up part of that ritual, set the timer, put Michael Jackson on and get ready for us to shout go.
All Together Now
Normally we would let the kids brush their teeth before they went to bed and when they got up, and myself and my wife would clean ours at another time. One of the leaflets suggested that we turn this into a family event and this has got the kids really involved in the routine. We brush our teeth at 730pm and 730am and not a day goes past without the kids shouting for us at the top of their lungs at 729, waiting for this special family event. I never thought that this one would work but it really has and the kids love the inclusivity of us all doing it together.
Whilst all of these tips above have worked, at the heart, it all is the fact that there is a strict routine in place for when the kids brush their teeth. All of the little aspects of it like music, timers and brushing together at the same time each day, has implemented a routine in their minds, and they stick to it no matter what. If your kids aren’t the best at brushing their teeth, try out a routine like this and just watch the difference which it makes.