We all know that toothbrushing is very important for our childrens dental health.
For some parents, getting our kids to either a)brush their own teeth or b) let us do it for them it can be a big challenge that everyone dreads at the end of the day. Sticker charts can be effective in encouraging kids to brush.
I once showed my friends kids this photo of a dentally challenged midget we met in Egypt
and apparently they've been excellent tooth brushers ever since! --->
There are also hundreds of products out there preying on our parental consumers brains. My daughter has never watched an episode of Dora the Explorer or the Wiggles but thanks to cleverly marketed dental products, she knows who both are!
So what to choose? How often to brush? Who does the brushing? What toothpaste and how much?
I have been using age appropriate Colgate toothbrushes on our daughter since her first teeth were fully erupted. Before that, we gave her a pigeon baby training toothbrush that we got free from a promotion on a packet of rusks.
We started usingThe Wiggles Milk Teeth toothpaste by Macleans- primarily because I had lots of free samples of it at work, but as soon as we could we switched to the same toothpaste that we adults use for at least one of the brushes a day, because here in Tauranga there is no fluoride in the water, and baby teeth need fluoride as they erupt to stay strong. Toothpastes formulated especially for children have reduced fluoride in them- these are fine if you live in an area where the water is fluoridated.
PLEASE NOTE- I am a qualified dentist, I believe in the years and years of respected research supporting the use of fluoride to prevent tooth decay. I realise that there are lots of people out there who disagree and while I respect their right to their opinions, I am not interested in getting into a debate on the pros vs cons of fluoride. That said, calcium and phosphate are just as important for healthy tooth structure and there are a few products out there that have all three in them, and a couple that are fluoride free.
So- toothbrushing technique? I use a tiny smear of toothpaste- on the Colgate brushes the brush has a blue area on it to help you measure how much toothpaste to use.
I brush Miss Rs teeth for her- each corner at a time (top left, top right, lower left lower right etc). I then let her have a go herself. We also don't rinse the tooth paste off at the end- she spits and we're done. That allows the toothpaste to have contact with the teeth for longer. We brush twice a day- after breakfast and before bed.