I know what it looks like. Post up a dentist story right before Halloween… real original.
But this post isn’t going to be about sugar, or cavities, or brushing religiously. Instead, it’s just my story about how Troy and I introduced our girls to toothbrushing and good habits.
- Brushing Has Always Been a Treat
The girls cut most of their first-round teeth between 9-12 months old, starting in March/April. So we gave them their first toothbrushes and a tube of toothpaste in their Easter basket. We started them with the baby Frida Toothhugger brushes, because they are angled and have a much smaller head. I had tried previously with the BabyFrida finger toothbrush but it was a bit too big to fit in their mouths.
We gave them some time to play with the brushes and picked a fun strawberry-flavored toothpaste. I’ve never seen so much disgust as a kid trying strong mint toothpaste for the first time.
- Add Brushing to Your Nighttime Routine
Each night, we sang the ABCs and the Itsy-Bitsy Spider to keep them entertained while we brushed their teeth, trying to make toothbrushing as less of a chore as possible. This also means making lots of bubbles when they brush, using voices when brushing, etc. We also did all the brushing ourselves until they turned 2. By then, they got their back molars in and knew what it felt like to brush all sides of their mouths. Plus, they gained enough control that they didn’t gag brushing their tongue.
- Mixing It Up
When they got older, we let them pick the brushes and toothpastes. We keep 2-3 different flavors of toothpaste and give them the choice each morning and night. We have had Peppa Pig, Raya, and Frozen character toothbrushes. I’m not sure why they get so excited for each character, but I’m for it. (Note: We use manual brushes, not electric. Not sure how they would do with the vibration…)
- We have an appointment!
Our pediatrician recommended that the girls could start seeing the dentist at age 3. This first dentist visit is just a quick look and to make sure the girls are starting good dental habits. It lasted about 20 minutes per kid. They suggested we start using kid flossers for the teeth that touch. They also measured the girls’ overbite so they can monitor teeth spacing and shifting. They recommended that even though the girls can brush on their own, parents should still go back in and brush after to make sure the back teeth are cleaned.
- SUGAR BUGS!
I thought this was the cutest thing. Our dentist said that brushing helps get rid of the “sugar bugs” in your teeth. So when the girls don’t feel like brushing, I remind them that we have to get rid of the sugar bugs.
My mom wasn’t the most adamant about us brushing regularly. In fact, my little brother’s teeth kinda freaked me out until his adult ones came in (Sorry, G). So, I’m really glad we started the girls early when it comes to oral hygiene.
This fall, we are excited to do our first collab with Dr. Taylor. She’ll be answering our questions on what pediatric dentists want you know. We’ll also be doing a follow-up post on toothbrushing sensory for kids.
After that, eat all the Halloween candy you want. Just brush afterwards…