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Toothbrushing with the kids has been an adventure. The guidelines have changed over the past six years and it’s hard to keep up with the latest and greatest. The one thing that has remained the same is using Tom’s of Maine Silly Strawberry toothpaste. I choose them because they don’t use any food dyes, compared to most of the other kid’s brands that use a Blue dye. The kid’s now ask for Silly Strawberry by name.
Although our toothpaste choice has been consistent, getting the kids to actually take the time to brush their teeth well has been a struggle. Bedtime takes forever with three kids and usually all three kids want to brush at the same time which leads to pushing and tears. We finally found a solution.
Teeth brushing dance party to the rescue! In order to get the kids to brush for the recommended two minutes, we find some favorite tunes and turn them up while each child gets their two minutes. Each kid gets to pick their favorite song and it motivates them to get into their PJs faster so they can be first. (Competition really works in my house.)
The second winning solution has been a fun timer app on my phone. This is a special treat they have to earn. If they don’t have good behavior leading up to bedtime, there is no toothbrushing app. I love how it tracks their brushing on a calendar and motivates them to get it down. It truly is amazing how well they are brushing during the two minute countdown and there is no nagging involved.
If you want to avoid screen time before bedtime (which I totally strive for generally), you can print out some fun toothbrushing printables if you search Pinterest. I pinned a couple on my fun printables board for reference. Print out your favorite, laminate it (I use this one) and then reuse it week after week.
Tom’s of Maine has been the natural choice for our family since we had kids. I was excited to see an even broader product line when I picked up another tube at Walmart. (Click here to get $1.00 off any Tom’s of Maine product purchase at Walmart.) There was a toddler-friendly flouride-free option, which is great for the littles ones to practice with and then the parent can brush with the flouridated toothpaste. This was the direction I got from the pediatric dentist we visited today for JJ’s check-up.
The dentist gave JJ a clean bill of health! Teeth look good and even with his “groovy” teeth he is able to keep them cavity-free. Sometimes the natural choice doesn’t always clean as well as the conventional choice. When it comes to Tom’s of Maine, we consistently see healthy teeth in both kids and the grown-ups. As a general rule, we try to avoid synthetic food-dyes whenever possible. There is just too many strange health concerns related to them and no long-term studies available. Since there is a safe and healthy choice it’s makes the decision as a parent.
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About Emily Roach
Emily Roach is a culinary nutrition expert and works with clients to create a healthy lifestyle design. She loves teaching her kids how to cook, playing tennis and inspiring women to take control of their health. Emily does one-on-one consulting, cooking workshops and speaking engagements.