Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tooth Brushing Made Easy and Fun

Do you struggle with your baby or toddler in brushing his/her teeth? Do you sometimes feel like you’re having a tug of war with your child while holding his/her toothbrush? I’ve been through that experience also. I have introduced the toothbrush to my son even as a baby as soon as his two front teeth began to erupt from his gums. He first used a gum massager before moving to the next recommended toothbrush/massager and finally to the regular toothbrush for his age.

He liked massaging and brushing his teeth on his own. My concern then was that he doesn’t know yet how to clean or brush his teeth properly so I would ask him to let me guide his hand so I can teach him or to let me brush his teeth for him. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t hand me his toothbrush nor let me hold his hand and guide it. He insists on doing it himself. So, it’s like we were having a battle with the toothbrush before. I would ask our maid or my husband to hold my son’s hands and face so I can brush his teeth properly and ensure that they are clean. It was stressful and not fun at all for everybody. My son kept crying because he hates being restrained and he likes to brush his teeth on his own. This kept going until I read an advice from a moms forum. A mom shared how she has made brushing fun for both her child and her and how she was able to ensure that her baby’s teeth are clean. I tried her advice and it worked!

This is what we do now. I brush my teeth with my son. I first hand him his toothbrush with a small amount of toothpaste. Next, I show him how to brush the teeth properly by brushing my teeth in front of him. Then, I give him my toothbrush so he can “brush” my teeth. When I do this now, he automatically and eagerly gives me his toothbrush so I can brush his teeth. We no longer play tug of war with his toothbrush. I brush his teeth until they’re clean; then, hand his toothbrush back to him so he can continue brushing. Yanthy, on the other hand, enjoys brushing my teeth. Sometimes though my toothbrush goes to my cheek or chin since he has not mastered his hand movements. But it’s okay. I just need to be more alert so that I can adjust my face and move to prevent my toothbrush from getting into my nose or eye. What’s important is that I’m able to clean his teeth without the fuss. No more battle of the toothbrush!

I’m so grateful I joined that forum because I got valuable advice on how to make brush time fun and stress-free for everyone at home. No more tears for Yanthy and no more frustration for me. And no more dirty teeth. I’m also happy that my son’s pediatrician recommended a toothpaste (SansFlou) that’s safe to use for kids his age. It contains no fluoride which makes it very safe to use by babies and children who do not know how to spit out the toothpaste yet. Too much fluoride can harm the development of permanent teeth, cause tooth discoloration, brittle bones and for some, over prolonged use, bone cancer. It also has nice flavours like orange and strawberry. It’s recommended for use of babies and children under 6 years of age.

Tooth brushing has now become one of our fun and bonding activities. Yanthy is happy because he has a chance to brush his teeth on his own and brush my teeth as well. I’m also very happy that Yanthy’s teeth are protected from cavities by regular brushing and he enjoys the activity now. So, if you are still having a difficulty brushing your baby or toddler’s teeth, I suggest that you try what we do. Your child might also like it this way.

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