Both my boys have just been for their regular six monthly check up’s at the dentists and I was devastated to discover that MIni is showing some signs of decay on one of his milk teeth. This means that we have been moved to three monthly check ups and also that I need to be more vigilant with their brushing.
Thankfully this has coincided with Aquafresh introducing the Aquafresh Club and producing a video about making brush time more pleasurable and easier.
They also have twenty top tips for encouraging brushing:
- Get a 2 minute egg timer – you can get these at the dentist – so your kids know how long to brush for!
- Let kids pick their own toothbrush – they will get really excited when it comes to brushing their teeth with the toothbrush they have picked!
- Get your kids a (robust) mirror – they can make silly faces in it and watch themselves brushing
- Play their favourite song while they brush to the beat – as most songs last two – three minutes it’s the perfect length
- Brush your teeth at the same time – kids love to copy mum and dad!
- Get an older family member to surprise your kids with their false teeth and a story about how theirs fell out – always a good incentive to get kids brushing!
- If you have more than one child, turn brush time into a competition – the one who brushes the best gets to pick the bedtime story! Don’t forget to alternate the ‘winner’ though!
- Tell your kids that the Tooth Fairy pays out less for decayed teeth – this will get them brushing better!
- If you have an older child, get them to teach their younger sibling how to brush – this makes it fun and also reinforces good brushing tips for the elder one.
- Let your child brush their favourite toy’s teeth – they will soon pick up how to do their own!
- Sing “Brush, brush, brush your teeth, gently to and fro, up, down, side to side, teeth so clean they glow” to the tune of “Row row row your boat” – it’s a great brushing rhythm!
- Give your kids a gentle scare by showing them pictures of people with bad teeth – or even your own – so that they know why they need to brush!
- Make three animal faces for brushing: tiger teeth (together), hippo mouth (mouth open) and snake tongue (to brush tongue). It makes it more fun and gets their teeth in the right position.
- With older kids, establish the link between bad brushing and bad breath – they will soon cotton on to this!
- Get your kids to brush with disclosing tablets once a week – they will love the surprising effect and it can become a challenge to see who can get their teeth white the quickest!
- Play ‘dentist’ with your kids – put them in a chair, inspect their teeth while they brush and provide a running commentary while they are doing so!
- Reward charts with stickers work very well – once they have reached a certain number they can get a treat which is a great incentive!
- Let your child ‘brush’ your teeth too – they are more likely to let you brush theirs if you can take it in turns!
- Give your kids 1p in a piggy bank every time they brush properly – 2p per day adds up to £7.30 a year!
- Let your kids be independent! You will need to brush their teeth at the end but letting them do it first makes them feel very grown up and it’s good practice!
The video comes on the back of research that Aquafresh conducted of 1,500 mums of children aged 2-12 that reveals that more than one million under-fives in the UK have at least two fillings, as mums struggle to get kids to brush their teeth. Other findings from the research are:
• One in six (17 per cent) mums say their child has at least 3 fillings
• 13 per cent of mums have children who have at least one filling by the time they start school (aged 3)
• Almost one in four (24 per cent) mums say their children only brush their teeth once a day and one in fifty say they don’t brush at all
• The research showed that almost half (47 per cent) of kids under 12 have been told they have dental decay, one of the most preventable diseases in the UK
• Over half of mothers (53 per cent) admit to finding getting their kids to brush their teeth stressful – potentially leading to arguments in over 2.5 million families
• One in fifty mums even admitted that their kids never brush their teeth.