Top toothbrushing tip.


We’ve been brushing the kids’ teeth since, well, the first hint of tooth started popping through their lovely pink gums. Ah, I remember crying when that happened. My babies! Growing up! Teeth!
We have always tried to keep it low key, but non-negotiable. Teeth get cleaning morning and night. An adult always does the majority of brushing, though we certainly let them play with the toothbrushes, especially as babies. I do feel it’s important for children to feel ownership over their bodies and the things happening to them, and teeth brushing is one of the first responsibilities they participate in. We wanted them to be involved, and I think this also cuts flailing, arguing, and mouths clamping shut.

How we’ve done teeth over the ages has evolved, but if your kids are roughly at the stage of ours – happy to have teeth cleaned, but possibly need them cleaned for longer and with a bit more toothpaste – here’s what the past couple of months have brought, very successfully.

I sing, in la la la form, the happy birthday song twice through. They usually la la la along. This possibly only works if your kids had a birthday in August are are still obsessed with it – handy as we have heard that the birthday song twice through is a good length of time for little ones to brush. But any song could work.This works because they know exactly how much longer teeth brushing needs to happen before they can get back to their more important tasks, like playing cars or reading bones books.

We have also been practicing spitting in a big way, since we never did it before the last few months. So we brush. After one song run through, spit. Sing it again. Spit. At this point, Coconut likes to brush her own teeth for another song length. Snort is like, are you fucking kidding me? No thanks.

Our little steps that let them reach the toilet are great for teeth brushing. They can reach the tap to turn the water on at the end to rinse the sink, they can see how much spit they make, etc.

So, voila. Teeth brushing any parent can love.


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