Friday, June 14, 2013

Dental Hygiene

I used to pretend to brush my teeth while a timer counted down 3 minutes. I suck at dental hygiene with my babies. I sucked at it with Sasha until I set up a solid bedtime routine. I would let Sasha brush her own teeth, but most nights I insisted having a turn as well.

We've done well with dental checkups. At our last check up, our dentist gave us some specific advice on how to clean her teeth. The part that seemed so different to me is that we should use a dry brush. We also used the angle he did. See, Sasha sat in Daddy's lap and then leaned back into the dentist's lap. Spencer's dentist did the same thing, though they had a padded thing for him to lie on.

Momma Jorje: Preschooler Toothbrushing

Weird? I've found it is so much easier to see her teeth! And its easier to keep her attention! The actual brushing is less of a battle once I get her on the floor, too. Sometimes Spencer can peek over my shoulder at her, too. Not only that...

Momma Jorje: Preschooler Flossing

Its easy for flossing, too! If you haven't tried it, you'll be amazed by how much easier it is to see all of those teeth! Now if I could get better at doing this more than once per day...

How do you do dental hygiene with your kids?


  1. My son is almost 3 and teeth brushing is probably our biggest battle. We just bought him an electric toothbrush that comes with stickers - He gets a sticker to put on the brush, or wherever, each time we brush teeth - but it's still a bit of a fight. We haven't been to the dentist yet (Bad, I know!) and I'm not looking forward to that. How to honor my child's body while still insisting on dental hygiene?

    Did your dentist suggest dry brushing as in paste and no water or no toothpaste?

    1. We waited til Sasha was 3 (or nearly) before we went, too. The dentist said DRY, like bone dry, nothin' on it. But he said she could brush her on teeth with fluoride-free toothpaste - in addition to us brushing them for her.

      Doing a poster with pictures and checkmarks (originally velcro, now we have magnets) really helped me with bedtime routine battles. Now I remind her that the dentist says we have to get all the cavity bugs out. I do well if I sing silly songs and/or talk about the cavity bugs, naming all the different food she ate that day. I pretend like I see the actual bugs left from the foods and have to chase them out.

      And every once in a while, we just totally skip brushing. I don't think its the end of the world. :P

      I hope that helps!

    2. That's actually awesome because about half the time my son refuses toothpaste and WANTS to brush with a dry brush.

      I hadn't even thought about talking through it that way, but I suspect my son would react very well to brushing if I was naming off food particles. He's pretty averse to being dirty/sticky/etc.

      Thanks! (And nice to know we're not the only ones who just skip it sometimes. I am NOT waking my kid to brush his teeth, for instance!)

    3. Oh, absolutely no way I'd wake a kid to brush their teeth!! Forget it!

  2. Wow, this is great advice. I moved and had to find a new dentist in San Antonio and he said that my kids are not brushing their teeth as well or often as they should. My kids are old enough to know that they need to brush their teeth 3 times a day. I found out that they were rubbing toothpaste in their mouth instead of brushing their teeth. Now I have to stand in the bathroom and watch them.

  3. This is exactly how I brush T's teeth! I am glad to hear it's right :) I do it because it's the only way I can see her mouth& she's calmer/ less wiggle. I also let her watch curious george on my iPhone for teeth time and it's the only screen time she gets so she looks forward to it as well.

    1. Cool idea! When Spencer had to get his Thyroid scanned, the tech had cartoons on his iPhone specifically for patients to watch while they were getting scanned. (He had to lie pretty still for several minutes.)

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