Dental hygiene is important.
I know this. If you are reading this, YOU know this. My eldest- she KNOWS this. (She brags about how she is cavity free and her brothers are not.) I’m pretty sure Gelli does not know this yet, but she sure does enjoy the routine of waking up and brushing while looking in the mirror at herself. (She is in LOVE with herself-she likes looking at herself ALL the time in the mirror…but most especially while she’s brushing her teeth.)
This is why when Pepsodent asked me to share their new Brushing Adventure campaign with my readers I didn’t have any reservations. I tried the toothpaste, and I loved the fresh stripe. I loved how they cleverly put together this campaign (that I felt is totally perfect for my boys) to instill good dental hygiene in children at an early age. If kids see that “Brushing Can Be Fun,” then it’s easy for them to stick with a routine of brushing at least 2x a day.
Confession: I know my son tries to leave the house without brushing his teeth in the morning for school. How do I know this you ask? Well, when we get in the car to go somewhere as a family, we ask a few questions before we pull away…
“Did you shut off all the lights in your room?”
“Did you bring your things for the day?” (i.e. extra shirt, or anything to study)
“Did you BRUSH YOUR TEETH?”
Usually, what happens next is my younger boy will say something like, “Oops, I forgot.” He then runs in the house, brushes (probably too quickly) and then runs back to the car, ready to go. So when he gets back in the car, a lecture will follow. Gia starts saying how she doesn’t have any cavities, and I go into my speech about taking care of your body. I may even repeat history by saying a few things my dad used to say to us when we were growing up…
“Ignore your teeth and they will go away.” (I have also used this same line in my Healthy Living Talks that I do for the Philips Road Shows.) Dad-are you reading? I’m quoting you already!
The beauty is that this new campaign, actually got my son WANTING to brush his teeth so he could earn his two stickers for the day. He wanted to break out the book and fill in the boxes right away! He even started brushing without me asking! He would come to me with the book and the stickers saying that he ALREADY finished brushing!
Yes….we LOVE positive reinforcement in this house. ALL KINDS of it. (Don’t forget I’m a teacher!) I learned early on to give my children choices. (TWO CHOICES which I deem acceptable, of course.) I have learned that a sticker goes a long way, and that a board where good behavior is rewarded and a is prize earned…can work wonders…Pepsodent has even put together a facebook page complete with games so that #BrushingCanbeFUN. We all know kids love anything that is fun. (But you knew that already too.) You can download the word search, play the song, and print the brushing calendar straight from the page.
So this new brushing campaign for kids? This works for me. If it gets Diego to brush on his own regularly without me sounding like a broken record and without the ritual of asking all the kids if they have brushed their teeth before we leave the house and one kid running up to the bathroom to quickly brush so he can still come with us in the car? Well, then….that makes my job easier…and we all know that us moms are always looking for ways to make the hardest job in the world just a little bit easier…just a little bit…
Other things to remember for good dental hygiene:
1) Brushing alone is not enough. Teaching kids to floss regularly is just as important. (I use these little flossing tools. The kids like to use them too. You can look for them next to the regular floss.)
2) Replace your toothbrush (or toothbrush head if you use a mechanical toothbrush) every 3 to 4 months.
3) Regular dental check ups with fluoride treatments (and sealants) are vital to healthy teeth and gums.
4) Diet can affect your teeth and the possibility of developing cavities. Make sure your child has a healthy diet with minimal sugar intake.
5) Setting good dental hygiene is a habit. Healthy habits are important to establish while your child is young. Remember: Our children learn by what we DO…not by what we say. If you don’t have good oral hygiene, your children won’t either.