This article first came out in Shanghaimamas.org on September 25, 2015
"Every month we present to you, No-Nonsense Mommy Tips by Columnist Carol Ong who touches everyday parenting dilemmas that we all face." -SHMAMAS ED
Brushing my children’s teeth could sometimes be a painful process, especially for me! Because my toddler likes to bite my finger when I use a finger toothbrush. My 3 year old cooperates more, because he plays Dr. Panda on the iPad where he brushes the teeth of different characters. When he refused to brush tonight, I explained that he would get toothaches from the candy he ate which means he can’t eat candy in the future. He quickly went to brush his teeth!
I want to share some tips on brushing teeth, some from our own experiences, and some from the book, “Practical Parenting Tips” by Vicki Lansky.
Tools of the trade
1. Use gauze and water: On babies without teeth, simply roll a gauze, dip in clean water and gently scrape his gums and tongue to remove milk build up.
2. Finger tooth brush: When babies start growing more teeth, a finger tooth brush can be easier to maneuver than a toothbrush with stick. (Be prepared to get bitten a lot, followed by a naughty adorable grin.)
3. Use baby toothpastes without fluoride: Little ones tend to suck toothpaste rather than brushing with it. Besides, fluoride may cause eczema or irritation.
Guiding them to master their brushing technique:
4. Make noises together while their teeth is getting brushed, such as a Tarzan yell or a monster roar or kung fu “Yaa!"
5. My husband devised a perfect trick. One of you lift up the child while securing his hands with a tight hug, then tickle him. Quick! The other parent brush quickly while his mouth is open. It’s both effective and entertaining( & labor consuming)Brush longer
6. Name every food the child has eaten that day and brush it away.
7. Ask the child to open his mouth and help you find monsters, cartoon characters or friends hiding deep in his mouth.
8. Make faces. Have a contest to see who can make the most faces while brushing teeth. Keep score while continuing to brush.
9. Brush together. Let the child mirror your actions as you brush per section of your teeth.
10. Shield your eyes from the dazzling shine of teeth well brushed.
Do you have tooth brushing tips to add to this list?