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There’s so many times as a parent that we’ve all wished kids come with instruction manuals. I know that is definitely true in our house when we were trying to figure out how to brush your teeth for kids that really don’t like to brush their teeth. Ever since they were little, it was such a struggle. As if that wasn’t complicated enough, hubby and I always worried about what was in the toothpaste that we were trying to get our kids to brush their teeth with.
Sometimes reading labels on kids’ toothpaste was like reading Greek. All sorts of additives, dyes, even fake sugars. YUCK. That’s why even before we began to figure out how to brush your teeth for kids that hate doing it, we decided to use a more natural toothpaste. This way we didn’t have to worry about what was in the toothpaste, and the kids were only used to using a toothpaste without dyes and sugars.
When our youngest daughter Bayla started getting sicker as she got older, it really gave us pause about the products that we were putting into the house. She’s so sensitive that she would have weird reactions to things she wasn’t even allergic to. This really made me think that there had to be healthier products out there that were free of artificial chemicals and flavors. One by one, we started looking for products we could replace with more natural alternatives. Finding a good natural toothpaste was one of the first things that we did.
Kids brush their teeth at least once a day, if all goes according to plan, and everytime they brushed their teeth I wanted to be sure that it was a artificial coloring free toothpaste. It made me breath a little bit more easily knowing that I could pronounce all the ingredients in brands like Tom’s of Maine toothpaste. Even if your kid doesn’t have sensitivities like ours does, it’s not a bad thing to try and keep as many chemicals away from your kids as possible. There are so many ways they are exposed to things in the enviroment, there’s no reason you should have to do it with their toothpaste as well.
This was just a personal choice we made, and we were so glad to switch. We even managed to talk to our kids about how to brush your teeth for kids that wanted nothing to do with a toothbrush. Once we got them on board though, we’ve been cavity free ever since! Our family has loved Tom’s of Maine so much, we’ve even switched to other natural personal care products like the Tom’s of Maine Apricot Deodorant. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve paid more and more attention to what goes into my family’s personal care product. Plus, you can find them at Wal-mart in the Personal Care section.
Even if your kids use another brand of toothpaste, this 7 tips on how to get your kids to brush their teeth is a great way to switch up toothpastes to a better brand, like Tom’s of Maine, and make it fun at the same time. Our kids are teens, and we still pull out this cheat sheet from time to time when we notice they aren’t brushing their teeth like they should. Tom’s of Maine is so easy to find, we grabbed some great ones at Wal-Mart this week and plan on hitting the kids up on Spring break to get them back on track with their dental health. It saves us money at the dentist, and saves them from cavitities.
7 Tips How to Brush Your Teeth for Kids Who Hate to Brush Their Teeth
Involve the kids in the process: Help the kids feel like they have choices. Give them a few alternate times of day that it would be a good idea to help brush their teeth. Let them choose the time, and then stick it on the calendar.
Reward them for being awesome: After you’ve set the time to help your kids brush their teeth, set an immediate reward. In our house, we attach computer time and electronics to it. In the evenings, the teens only get their iPods back when they’ve brushed their teeth. Trust me, if you pick the right reward you won’t have any trouble getting them to brush their teeth.
Pick an awesome toothpaste: If you pick a toothpaste that the kids hate, they won’t use it. We went through several natural toothpastes before deciding on Tom’s of Maine Children’s Silly Strawberry toothpaste. It was the only one all three of them could agree on. Now we don’t have to fight them to brush their teeth, and we still get them to use a more natural toothpaste which makes us happy.
Appeal to your teen’s vanity: As kids get older, they tend to care a little bit more about their appearance. Appeal to their natural vanity by talking about what a “great” first impression bad breath makes. It’s not mean, it’s the truth. If they can’t get a little tough love at home, their peers are definitely going to let them know if they have been named “stinky mouth” behind their backs.
Set a good example: This one is so much easier said than done, but teens will be the first ones to let you know when you aren’t following your own advice. To make this a little more fun, we let the kids pick which Tom’s of Maine toothpaste that hubby and I would use. I love the antiplaque and whitening toothpaste in peppermint. This is such a great natural way to whiten your teeth, and it let’s my kids see that mom does what she tells the kids to do.
Don’t be above bribery: Normally, I don’t condone bribing kids for doing things they are told to do, but in the case of oral hygiene, we give the kids a little treat each and every time they come home from the dentist cavity free. I figure if they are doing a good job they deserve a reward, plus being cavity free saves mom and dad money. No reason they shouldn’t be able to benefit from that.
Let the music play: Anytime we dread doing something in our house, we add a little music. It really helps take the pain out of the chore, plus picking one song on Spotify or ITunes helps them brush for the recommended two minutes per brushing.
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Have you ever struggled with getting your kids to brush their teeth? What tips do you have to get them brushing their teeth with a great natural toothpaste?