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Let’s Brush Those Teeth

When my kids were little, they loved brushing their teeth. As soon as they were done with dinner, they’d race one another into the bathroom screaming “I’m gonna brush my teeth before you!” And there’d be this big scrum to get into the bathroom with kids getting shoved out of the way and tooth brushes being grabbed and jostled. And of course someone would end up being last to brush and then the tears would start.

Ha! And if you believe that I’ve got a bridge I’d like to sell you in Brooklyn.

But seriously. Let’s talk about toddlers and proper tooth brushing. And this applies to a toddler or youngster that hasn’t learned how to write in cursive yet or not yet mastered level three on Candy Crush. Kids develop at different rates so one kid may master cursive when they’re six, another at nine. In order to properly brush and get all the Oreo crumbles out of their mouth, they’ll need a certain level of dexterity and the cursive or Candy Crush markers are good indicators of their dexterity. Even when mine we’re in the 3rd or 4th grade, I was still inspecting their teeth. By the time they were in middle school, all those photos and stories of rotten teeth I may have told them seemed to be working.

Now just because they still have their baby teeth doesn’t mean we don’t want to care for those teeth. So let’s take a look at this technique.

Muncy andrew 2
This is Andrew, Kim’s son. Y’all might remember her because she worked for me not too long ago.

For this you’ll need two people. You’ll need to sit knees to knees and the helper will gently place the child onto the lap of the brusher. When they’re at this age, kids only need about a grain of rice worth of toothpaste on their brush. Then you’re going to ask your child not to bite you while you commence to brushing their teeth. Be gentle please. Now from this angle your child will naturally want to open his mouth and you’ll have unfettered access to their teeth. If they’re squirming around and fussy, it’s probably because there’s half a Snicker’s bar stuck in a molar that they’re saving for later and they don’t want you to see it. Then when you’re done, carefully sit them up and get them to rinse and spit. It helps if you let them know what you’re going to do. Don’t spring this on them without telling them because they should gain an appreciation for dental hygiene at an early age so the sooner they know, the better.

Muncy tooth brush
It helps if you’re ready with some bad impressions to get them to smile.

The first time you do this, your child may not cooperate. Don’t force it please because if they squirm and fuss too much, they might roll off your knees. And please don’t promise them a bag of M & Ms if they’re good while you’re doing this. Because then we have to start all over.

So there you have it. Any questions?  Feel free to ask.

And if you’re reading this and looking for a great pediatric dentist, one that remembers what’s it’s like to be a kid, just give us a call. We’re always looking for a new patient or two.


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