Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Brush, Brush, Brush! 刷牙咯!

I started training Ethan to brush the teeth by himself when he was around 15 months old. He was able to stand steadily and had pretty good eye-hand coordination then. I didn't make record but I am certain he had at least 8 teeth by then.
Brush, Brush, Brush! by Alicia Padron.

I started brushing my little boy's tiny teeth when he was 8 months old - he had 4 teeth then. I bought this Pigeon set which have 3 steps toothbrushes within 1 packaging. I like the fact that it comes with a shield that can be attached to the toothbrush to prevent toddler from accidentally pushing the toothbrush too deep down the throat which may cause chocking or injury.

These tooth brush are useful to help soothe the gum discomfort caused by teething too. Just rub it softly against the teeth and gums.

I did not follow exactly the age indication showed on the packaging, but they were certainly useful and I managed to introduce brushing as part of my boy's bedtime routine without much resistance.

After he turned 3.5 years old, he had accepted that brushing before bed is a must and will go and brush his teeth without me asking. I couldn't stop feeling proud to see him being such an independent boy and hope he will grow up with bright white teeth.

Many mommies had complained of difficulties they faced when training the kiddos to brush their teeth, here are some of the techniques I deployed in cultivating brushing habit in my boy...

  • I started by teaching Ethan to brush with empty tooth brush and gargled with boiled water at room temperature. Once I'm confident that he will not swallow the toothpaste and the water (after gargle), only I applied toothpaste and continued to let him gargled using boiled water.

  • For gargling, I didn't buy any fancy cup, just used the small translucent cup that comes with my Yomeshu, he loves the mini cup and called it his cup. You may consider the measurement cup that comes with some cough mixtures too :) Remember to give your little one a personal face tower to avoid him from wetting his shirt when spitting out.

  • Let him stand on a stool so he is tall enough to see his own reflection in the bathroom mirror. At first I let him watch me brush his teeth, subsequently I let him do it himself, from squeezing tooth paste to brushing, gargling and wiping clean. Most little boy at the age of 2 would want to proof that he is a big boy capable of managing himself. So, make good use of this growing ego :)

  • We always brush teeth together so he felt that it's a norm that all adults brush teeth before bedtime. remember kiddo always likes to imitate what the parents do, so make use of that.

  • Read him books about bedtime, brushing teeth.. Explain to him why he should brush his teeth and consequences of not doing so (teeth turn black, fall off and he will become baby without any tooth..) He was so motivated to brush his teeth after understanding the consequence :)

  • These are some of the books I read to him...

  • Brush, Brush, Brush, by Scholastic. This book actually comes with a bedtime story at reversed print, little Ethan was very captivated by that.

  • The Things I Love About Bedtime, by Trace Moroney. This is a very interesting book with beautiful illustration to encourage a good bedtime habit.

  • I grew up with really ugly teeth when I was in primary school, my childhood photos always remind me of that "ugly past". I certainly hope that having cultivated this habit in my boy, he will not face the terrible toothache pain and horrifying dentist visit like I had before..

    My little boy happily brushing his teeth

    One last note. If you are concerned that your little one may have swallowed the toothpaste, you may use Fluoride-free toothpaste designed for children and pregnant moms, available in most major pharmacies and baby stores.

    Hope you find this article helpful. Happy brushing! :)

    A Note on Safety

  • Never, I repeat, never, leave your little ones left unattended in the bathroom as simple things like razor, toilet seat, can post danger to little ones. Especially if he's standing on a stool there is a danger of losing balance.

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