Tuesday 30 June 2020

3 tips to make brushing teeth less tricky for kids #review

Despite being seven years old, one of the daily battles we still have with Ethan is getting him to brush his own teeth - properly! Just the request itself can send Ethan off in a mood as it’s really is just one of the things he doesn’t enjoy doing.

We’ve tried various things over the years to make things easier and to encourage him to brush his teeth regularly and without an argument beforehand, and I think we are making some progress thanks to Colgate and a brand-new electric toothbrush that seems to be making mornings and evenings much easier now, routine wise.

We picked up the Minions Extra Soft Battery Toothbrush by Colgate (suitable for ages 3+) from Morrison’s as it's currently on special offer for just £3.50 which is a bargain considering how fun and practical the toothbrush is.

Ethan's been using it for the past few days now and it’s already made a big difference so I thought I would share with you my  three top tips making brushing teeth a lot easier with little ones. These are techniques and ideas I have used over the years and a combination of all three seems to be doing the trick.

1. Make it fun

Why have a plain boring toothbrush when you can something bright fun and colourful? Ethan is a very visual person and the fact that his new toothbrush is in his favourite colour (orange) and features pictures of the Minions on it means that his bathroom routine is already much more interesting to him that it was before.

He’s never used a battery toothbrush before either. The simple push button function makes it easy for him to use and this morning he asked me if he could go brush teeth without me having to remind him which was a huge change from most days before we had this!

2. Set a time challenge

I think kids respond really well to challenges and making something into the game. Ethan is no different and if he has a challenge or goal set for him, he is much more likely to complete a task so we set a stopwatch or play a song for him to brush along to. Playing a song that lasts about two minutes means your child can brush along and they know they need to keep on going until the song ends.

3. Give a reward

A lot of children respond well to structure and we are big fans of reward charts in our house. We haven’t used one for a while - the last one being over the summer holidays - but it's a good way to give a bit of structure to Ethan's daily routine and make him realise that he has set responsibilities and things to do.

The rewards chart is a good reminder of things that your child needs to do each day and what you expect of them. We hang it up on the wall and it lists things like tidying up, doing home-school tasks, behaviour, manners etc. plus general routine activities including cleaning his teeth. When Ethan completes his activities he gets a star, a tick or sticker of his choosing to put onto the chart and he feels a sense of accomplishment when he does this for all the things he has successfully completed.

It still amazes me that something as simple as brushing your teeth can cause a meltdown but I am so pleased to see that a combination of these three activities is making a difference. Obviously things are quite tricky for children because life isn’t as normal for them right now but I’m glad that we’ve got a bit of a routine going. Ethan is really fond of his new Colgate Minions battery toothbrush and it makes me feel a lot better as well because when he would brush his teeth before I was always convinced he wasn't doing a great job. Whereas now, he’s got a fun new 'toy' that's making the whole process a lot easier for us as parents but also for him and making sure really does brushes teeth properly twice today.

Does your child refuse to clean their teeth or does half a job when you ask them? What techniques help you to convince them to brush their teeth properly? I’d love to hear your advice and crossed fingers that these three techniques of ours will continue to work for us until Ethan's got a new habit and everybody is happy!


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