Brushing Teeth Technique for Toddlers/Preschoolers

by Melanie Edwards on June 18, 2008 · 10 comments

in Motherhood, Parenting, toddlers

I was watching last week’s Supernanny – I’m lucky I have a DVR, otherwise I’d never watch TV!

Anyway, in last week’s episode, the family had an almost 5 year old girl, and twin 3 1/2 year old boys.

Well, the parents were complete control freaks! They wouldn’t let the kids run a few feet ahead of them. And, they didn’t let the kids brush their own teeth.

You should have seen how they brushed the teeth for them! It was like torture for the kids.

They laid them down and propped their heads up on pillows and while the kid screamed, brushed their teeth.

Supernanny offered them a pretty cool technique for allowing the kids to brush their own teeth. She gave them all their own portable mirrors so they could see themselves while brushing. And, she told the mom to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” two times. That way, the kids knew how long they should brush their teeth.

Who knew?

I thought that was really useful and a good way to provide kids with a cue to know how long they should brush their teeth. Or even a cue for me to know!

I think I’m going to try it with baby girl and see if it’ll help her to get better at brushing her teeth.

Now, how to teach her to spit the tooth paste out and not swallow it?

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1 Sandie Law June 18, 2008 at 12:31 pm

Great idea! MonkeyBoy (my son) is six, but brushing teeth is not his favorite thing. I think I will try this with him (although maybe with a different song…he considers “Twinkle Twinkle” a baby song). I can’t wait to try this tonight!

2 Stephanie Elie June 18, 2008 at 10:02 pm

I love Supernanny. Here parenting tips are pretty on point. But I especially love seeing how the parents ask for help, then they get defensive about getting help.

Love your blog I’ll be stopping by more often.

3 ModernMami June 19, 2008 at 6:46 am

@Sandie: Isn’t it? I hope it goes well – with a big boy song of course! 😉

@Stephanie: That’s so true! You can often hear me yelling out “Why’d you ask for help then, huh?” lol
Glad you like it and welcome!

4 Jai June 21, 2008 at 8:48 pm

Ok I’m still not over the part that they were brushing their kids teeth!! Why make things harder for yourself and give you one more thing to do. At five I think they can definitely brush their own teeth. This being said by a Mami who’s toddler bites the toothbrush. He’s only got 4 teeth right now though. 🙂

5 ModernMami June 23, 2008 at 7:42 am

I know. They said it was because they wanted to be sure they had healthy teeth.

6 Jay June 23, 2008 at 11:14 pm

It’s so funny that I read this because over the weekend when I went to see my niece (she’s a year and a half) and my sister was brushing her teeth but my niece didn’t want her too.

My sister was forced to brush her teeth while she was crying…


7 ModernMami June 26, 2008 at 7:00 am

Sometimes, we just have to do it, Jay…crying or not.

8 Amy July 23, 2008 at 5:41 pm

My daughter just turned two and she ****hates**** brushing her teeth. Her two front teeth started turning brown a few weeks ago, so I took her to the dentist and found out she had two cavities behind her two front teeth and we had been brushing. It was so sad to stand there and watch this procedure and her crying out for me.
So, now I’m making sure I don’t skip a brushing session. I’m going to try to make it more fun, but it has to be done.

9 ModernMami July 23, 2008 at 7:28 pm

I agree Amy. I’ve been looking to see if I can take her to dentist for just a check-up but many don’t take before age 3. 🙁

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