Friday, August 12, 2011

Toddler tip: Fun way to brush teeth

We have a hard time brushing L's teeth. She tends to clamp her teeth down on the toothbrush and suck all the toothpaste off. I've tried a couple of things to get her to open her mouth, eg. tickling her or asking her to roar like a lion. Only minor success on both counts.

And then I read this genius tip in How to talk so kids will listen, and listen so kids will talk and it has revolutionised teeth brushing sessions (so far).

The tip
Invent germs with names, such as Belinda or Doug (no offence to all the lovely Belindas and Dougs of the world), that are hiding in your child's mouth and need to be scrubbed out.

How it plays out for us
I say to L, "OK, let's see if we can spot where that cheeky germ Belinda is hiding." (L opens her mouth.)

I tell her, "Ooh, I see Belinda. She's dancing right in front on your top teeth. Let's see if we can scrub her off.

"Oh no, she's moved to the back of your front teeth. We'll try to flick her off.

"No good. She's wriggled away to your back tooth. I'll have a go scrubbing her off there."

And so on until we've scrubbed or flicked all the teeth.

If she looks like she's disengaging, I ask L to tell me if she can feel where Belinda is - and then scrub whichever tooth she points to.

When I've finished brushing I say, "It looks like we've scrubbed her away, but just before she disappeared I heard her say that she'll be back."

Note: We haven't really got into the spitting thing. There's never anything left for L to spit out. If there was, I would ask her to spit Belinda down the sink, and then say, "Ooh I heard her call out that she'll be back."

L's reaction
She loves it and asks us to find Belinda when it's teeth brushing time now. It's become a fun game for her.

1 comment:

  1. Great idea Emma. Will try that. Liam is not a fan of the tooth brushing either.


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