*This is a paid advertisement for Aquafresh*
With the arrival of the baby on the scene, my parenting style has definitely become more laid back. It’s had to, there’s no way we’d make it through the day in one piece otherwise. Yet whilst the tv is on that little bit longer and the bribes are far more free flowing, there are a few things I’m not prepared to budge on. The main one? The importance of looking after your teeth. ‘You only get one set of teeth’ – I remember my mum saying over and over to me as a child. And despite the fact that like most children I was keen to point out her error, ‘Actually mum, you get two’, now that I’m older I find myself pushing the same message; tooth care is important, from the word go. The practices that we put in place now with their baby teeth will also help to keep their adult set (currently waiting patiently up in their gums) nice and healthy too.
With that in mind, it’s vital to me that we make tooth brushing twice a day part of our routine. Morning and night, from the moment their first tooth pops through their gum (any day now for the baby judging by those rosy cheeks and rivers of drool) and for at least two minutes each time. It’s easy to say, isn’t it? Two minutes for a full set of baby teeth, less if they only have a couple poking through. Yet those two minutes have the potential to last forever if it’s something that your child doesn’t want to do. Trust me, I own a headstrong toddler, I know that!
Life’s too short to have the same argument twice a day or to wrestle a toothbrush around a small child’s mouth for two of the longest ever minutes and, as I said, their teeth are too precious not to clean. We’ve been educating ourselves on what little teeth need and how to make brush time a fun part of our daily routine. How? We’ve been working with Aquafresh who not only have a website packed with information and ideas but have also asked us to share some of our personal tips and tricks with you. Fancy learning a little more? Then read on.
Getting The Right Tools For The Job
First up, it’s important you get the right equipment for the job. Did you know that there are different toothpastes and brushes to use depending on your child’s age? A child’s tooth enamel is 50% thinner than it is for us adults which is why they need special, child-friendly products. For little ones aged 0-2 like we have, you should be using the Aquafresh Milk Teeth range. The iconic Milk Teeth toothpaste with its gentle minty flavour is tough on decay yet not too abrasive, whilst the easy to handle Milk Teeth toothbrush has special soft, multi-angled bristles designed to surround their teeth as you brush. What does that give you? A perfectly developed combination to protect against cavities and be kind to your baby’s teeth and gums for the first two years of their life.
Brush Up On Your Technique
You’ve got the equipment, but now what? It’s time to brush up on your technique, pardon the pun. Remember, you should start brushing as part of your daily routine from the moment that your little one pops their first tooth, whether that’s at three months or twelve! Brushing should take place twice a day and last for two minutes once they have a full set of teeth, less if they’re not quite there yet. For children under three, you’ll just need a small smear of toothpaste on the brush (once they’re older than three, you can move on to that pea size that we all hear about!). Then get brushing! Anyone under the age of six should be supervised brushing their teeth to ensure they get the job done properly, and in our case, don’t take an eye out with the brush. Once those teeth are nice and clean, get them to spit out the paste (no swallowing please!) and if it’s bedtime, remember to try and avoid any food or drink after brushing!
Brushing Doesn’t Have To Be A Chore
On to the fun part; you’re clued up, you’ve got the right tools for the job, all that’s left is encouraging your little darling to join the party. Easy, right? Well it can be if you make it fun enough. Here are some of the things that have worked well for us…
One of the toughest things we found was getting our son to make the right mouth shapes whilst we brush. He was constantly shutting his mouth around the brush or trying to chew it! In order to get his mouth open nice and wide we now turn tooth brushing time into a roaring contest. With a dinosaur obsessed child, he loves pretending to be a T-rex and doing his best ‘ROARRRRRRR’ whilst we brush away and roar right back at him. It’s noisy, there’s often arm movements involved and it almost always ends in giggles. He loves it and completely forgets we’re brushing his teeth, win win.
Now It’s Your Turn…
One of our toddler’s favourite things to do in the world is to copy us, from our mannerisms to our actions and even, god help us, our sayings. We tend to brush our teeth at the same time as we do his and naturally he wants to follow our lead but he’s still lacking some of the coordination required. Instead, we take it in turns. We brush his and he brushes ours right back. Just heed my warning, toddlers can be vicious with a toothbrush! If you don’t fancy being attacked by a brush wielding toddler, do like we do and rope in an unsuspecting teddy bear instead.
Let Them Help
Just because they have to be supervised, doesn’t mean they can’t have their own jobs as part of the process. Like most toddlers, ours has a major independent streak at the moment so little tasks can help temper that attitude and make him more amenable to things. He has a step to allow him to stand at the sink alone if he wants to and from there he can reach the tap to turn it on ready to wet his brush. Once he’s wet it, he’ll hold the brush ready for us to apply the paste and just like that we’re ready to go. If he’s being particularly… challenging… he’ll start his own brushing before we step in to take over for the two minutes. At the end, he’ll pack it all away, spit like mad and wipe his face on the towel. He loves it. Toddlers are funny little things but hey, if it works, it works.
Ahhh the iPhone. As much as I want to limit his screen time, even I have to admit that a well-placed app can make life a lot easier. Take for example, the Aquafresh Brush Time app; a free, two minute timer (available here for both Apple and Android users) that’s fun to use and turns brushing into a night-time boogie. Meet Captain Aquafresh and the Nurdles as you set up your child’s account, personalise their character, pick a backdrop and a tune and get brushing. It’s entertaining, catchy (worryingly catchy) and my favourite part is it allows them to build up points with each brush allowing them to unlock new backdrops or outfits turning it into a game, something that’ll work really well as he gets older.
And there we have it, just a handful of the things we’re doing to take the stress out of toothbrushing and make it a fun part of our daily routine. If you’d like to learn more about the right type of product to suit your child and how to make brush time fun, visit the Aquafresh website. It’s packed full of information and ideas to help you protect your little ones teeth from birth right through to adulthood!
We use Aquafresh toothpaste and brushes. Some great tips there too – have to admit that we still struggle with youngest so will try some of them out!
They’re the best aren’t they? I would never think to use anything else on my little one’s teeth! Try the app, I was a little dubious (plus he spends FAR too long on my phone already) but it’s really well thought out and gets them hooked in to brushing straight away!
Great tips! I find consistency is key and since we’ve been using the app every single day, morning and night, it’s less of a battle as he knows it’s just something that needs to be done. Absolutely stunning pictures of your little boy- he is just so precious!
Ahhh thanks lovely, I agree (but then I’m totally biased about him!). We love the app, anything that removes a battle with him is brilliant as far as I’m concerned! That way I can save my energy for some of his other demands.. the joys of two year olds!
I found getting Piggie his own little mirror that is just for brushing teeth seemed to help. After I get the paste on the brush I have a go first and do the *proper* cleaning, and then he has a go afterwards to practice his technique – watching me while I brush my own
Oooh that’s a good idea – they have little mirrors at pre-school and that seems to help with hand washing so hopefully it would have the same effect here! It’s funny how they want to do it all themselves isn’t it? We do the same, a proper brush followed by his attempt!
We also use Aquafresh and always have with all four of them. I love the new app, I think it’s such a fab idea!
I wouldn’t ever think to use anything other than Milk Teeth on our two, it’s just THE toothpaste for little teeth as far as I’m concerned. I had no idea there were different types as they develop but I’ll definitely be sticking with Aquafresh for those as well!
We use these too and the girls have never complained about brushing their teeth, i think thats half the battle, getting them to do it when they dont want to!
It really is, anything that can get them to do it every morning and night so it becomes the norm is a winner in my eyes!
The younger you start with brushing, the better, before they have a chance to protest!
I agree, then they never know any difference!
I’ve always used Aquafresh for my girls, they always get excited when they move up to the next age range! The app looks great!
Oh bless them! I can’t believe we’ll be in the next stage in just a few months – where has my baby gone?!
My nephew loves aquafresh and these days he gets himself up to go brush his teeth. Its great when they learn the importance really young
Ahhh that’s so good of him, I think it’s so important to teeth them from a young age!
My kids use this toothpaste. They really like it. Love the photos you got here.
Thank you!! We love it too, it’s nice to know that we’re protecting their teeth as much as possible!
We have been trying out this range recently too and its fab! I love that Aquafresh have brushes and toothpaste designed for different age groups and stages of our teeth too! Oh and my little ones both LOVE the app and think its hilarious.
Isn’t it just? I hadn’t ever really appreciated that their teeth need different care at different times but it makes complete sense! So glad that you’re loving the app too!
Thank you! x
This looks like a fun way of getting them to brush their teeth
It really does work well!
We love Aquafresh and Isla has four of those tooth brushes. Now her favourite is the one that lights up!
There’s one that lights up?! That would e a huge hit in our house as well!
It’s great to train toddlers about good habits. They’ll never forget to brush their teeth until they grow up. I didn’t know that there’s an app for brushing teeth! I will check it out and introduce to my friends’ children.
There is! It’s a really good way of taking the monotony out of those two minutes so that it seems like fun rather than a chore!
Dental hygiene from a young age is just so important so anything that is going to make it more fun gets a thumbs up in my books 🙂
Isn’t it just? I think if you can get them into it when they’re little then they know no different!
I like that their website gives customers tips to properly brush kids teeth while making it fun. I especially like the time they provide on the free app, that is cool.
It’s nice to see a company that really cares about educating their customers in the right way rather than just pushing a product!
This is such awesome advice! I’m definitely going to try some of it out with my little one. And what adorable pictures!
Ahhh thank you, he can be quite the charmer when he wants to be! Give it a go and let me know how you get on!
We always use Aquafresh for our little twos teeth. I think they’re a great brand! Oscar used to be a nightmare when it was teeth cleaning time so I’d have to make up silly noises and stuff to get him to have them done. The joys of being a parent, huh? Haha
Definitely, they keep us on our toes don’t they?! Try the app, it’s really good at keeping them entertained for the two minutes AND it means we don’t have to make as many silly faces and noises ourselves!
wow I am so behind all the technology for kids! Looks like your kid really enjoys the process now. It’s so nice that the company cares!
It’s amazing isn’t it? I love when a brand really cares about it’s product and helping people rather than charging for it all of the time!
Lots of helpful tips! I remember the struggle when my kids were still that age. I am sharing this post with my daughter. Her toddler does not like brushing her teeth.
I hope they work for her – toddlers can be so bossy, anything that makes it easier is a definite win in our household!
I remember when I was showing my little brother how to wash his teeth, he was dead excited. No apps back then but the job itself was fun. I find the apps quite useful nowadays for toddlers.
It’s a novelty isn’t it? My son loves to do it but our biggest issue is making sure he does it properly, toddlers just want to be independent ALL the time!
Apps are great tools when the concept is right! And you’re right, toothbrushing is so important. Anything that makes it more fun has got to be a winner. #kcacols
Aren’t they just? My son is definitely phone obsessed so combining his love of the phone with getting him to do something works wonders!
I was worried that we hadn’t brushed as well as we could but when i took my son to the dentist, he said all was fine – age 5. I find i have to help him out to really reach the back ones and make sure he brushes for longer than 10 seconds lol! the app sounds great for this though! #KCACOLS
I think it can be so hard to tell when they’re little – plus two minutes can feel like forever if they’re not happy about it! Glad your son’s teeth were fine! x
Thanks for all the helpful tips. We also use an app for the girls. It helps a lot. They can play while brushing their teeth so the 2 minutes passed quicker. Definitely a great idea to use technology for this type of things. Thanks for sharing your tips with us at #kcacols 🙂 xx
I’m glad an app helps, it’s such a good idea! x
I think anything you can do alongside your kids to show them how to do it is great and it builds great routines too. #KCACOLS
That’s the idea – to make it part of their routine before they realise any differently!