Wake up, Mom and Dad!! You have 45 minutes to get your children out of bed, have them brush their teeth, get them showered, feed them breakfast, pack their lunch, and rush them out to the bus stop. Oh wait, did they finish that homework assignment they were supposed to? What did the teacher say they needed to read by the end of this week? Is that field trip today or next Tuesday?
With all that’s going on with your kid’s lives, who has time to make sure they brushed their teeth? Sure they said they brushed, flossed, and rinsed their mouth, but did they really? Probably not. And no, we can’t expect parents to stand in the bathroom and monitor their kid’s dental habits. Here’s where I can help.
My biggest complaint with kid’s teeth is not that they aren’t trying. They are. At 6:30 in the morning, they are truly trying. Unfortunately, the attempt usually isn’t very productive. What should be a 2 minute brush of all their teeth ends up being a 22 second swipe of a brush. So what can you do mom and dad to make everyone’s lives’ easier and make their next dental visit a successful one?
The first thing I would invest in is an electric toothbrush. For kids, you don’t have to use a very high end one. In fact, if your child still has some baby teeth in their mouth start out with a battery powered one. They are inexpensive and usually get the job done.
The second thing I suggest is a toothpaste your kids actually like. Crest now has flavors like mint chocolate chip and vanilla mint spark. They may not sound appealing to us but kids actually like them!
Get a timer. Two minutes doesn’t sound like a long time but it truly is when you have a thousand other things to get done. Disney has a great Magic Timer app which removes the bubbles from the screen as your kid keeps brushing revealing a new Disney image at the end. For the older kids, most electric toothbrushes have timers on them which tell you when to stop.
If your kids haven’t started flossing yet, don’t panic. It’s not too late. Floss pickers are a great starter to flossing. They are easy to use and kids enjoy it. They come in princess and dinosaur packs so they are effective and fun solutions to removing all food and plaque that gets stuck between teeth.
And last but not least, keep your kids away from the sugary juices and sports drinks in the morning. I know they taste great, but they are truly just sugar water. If that sugar stays on your kid’s teeth all day, you’re just asking for cavities.
Good luck Mom and Dad! With projects, homework, SOLs, SATs, ACTs, and everything else your kids have to juggle throughout the school year, I’m sure brushing and flossing is the last thing on the list to worry about. But if I can help relieve a little bit of the morning stress, mission accomplished!!