Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Healthy Teeth, Happy Kids

I don't know about you, but with my two year old NOTHING goes easy. She's in that phase where she is trying to show her independence, usually by refusing even the simplest of requests. Like brushing her teeth, for example. She will pretend to brush her stuffed animals' teeth, Mama's teeth, Dada's teeth...but brush her own? No way.

Three times a day we struggle with getting that toothbrush over her tiny little teeth, to make sure that the crackers, cereal, yogurt, cheese (those are her current favorite foods) are not sticking around for later. We are also trying to get her in the habit of brushing her teeth every day, to create a good routine as she gets older. The tightly closed mouth and constant turning of the head, though, make it a difficult task. And I just have to add that I am amazed at how strong a two year old is!

Luckily, I have found a solution that seems to be working (for now, at least!). I wish I could say that I came up with this on my own, but it actually was my daughter who offered up the idea. Imagine that! One night a week or so ago, my husband and I were trying (unsuccessfully) to get her to brush her teeth, when suddenly she screams "Rabbit do it!". My husband and I look at each other with relief and he immediately goes to grab her plush blue rabbit.

So we load up the toothbrush with toothpaste again (I recommend Earthpaste Natural Toothpaste or Toms of Maine) and promptly put the brush into Rabbit's "hand". Success at last! No tears, no mouth forced shut, no head swinging - just simple, easy teeth brushing. She had Rabbit brush the front, the back, the top, the bottom - you name it.

Thanks to my daughter's wonderful idea, we've been struggle-free teeth brushing for over a week! Try it out with your child's favorite stuffed animal or toy next time if you, too, face a battle every time you raise that toothbrush. Good luck!


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