On my to-do list for quite some time has been to find a “greener” tooth paste. I don’t understand why so many American products have ingredients I don’t like – artificial food colors for instance.
Did you know artificial food colors are even in toothpaste? Why do companies feel the need to shove artificial food colors in every blooming thing we eat or put in our mouths? I don’t like it. But even worse than artificial food colors are these toxic ingredients: parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, tricolsan, sodium saccharin. You can read about the toxic effects of these ingredients at Healthy Child, Healthy World and Safe Mama. But suffice it to say, these ingredients have been linked to various cancers and a host of ill effects. I’m trying hard to banish them from my house but I keep finding them in more and more products.
Maybe they think food coloring makes tooth brushing fun for kids? And the other ingredients? Cheap? I don’t know. Anyhow, I think it’s possible to make tooth brushing fun for kids even without the bad ingredients.
Here are 7 ways to help make tooth brushing fun for your kids:
1. Be a good role model ~ My kids like to emulate me – bad and good. I’ve found that if I brush my teeth with them, they’ll brush longer and better.
2. Get a fun tooth brush ~ For Easter my children each got a battery operated toothbrush. I can’t believe the difference that’s made in their attitudes about brushing their teeth. They LOVE those tooth brushes.
3. Get a good tasting tooth paste without all the nasty ingredients ~ We just received Branam’s Yum Yum Bubblegum and Go Go Grape and my kids think they are quite tasty. I love that they are free of toxic ingredients and use Xylitol (an all natural sweetener found in fruits, berries, vegetables, and mushrooms with proven plaque fighting properties) instead of fluoride.
4. Use a timer ~ I love my SoniCare toothbrush because it times me and I brush my teeth the recommended full 2 minutes. Left to their own devices, my children only brush their teeth for about 10 seconds. Using a sand time helps keep them on track. I try to get them to brush their teeth for a minute.
5. Brush their teeth after they’ve brushed ~ This isn’t the most fun for my children, but my dentist swears that until my children are 7 or 8 years old, they are simply not capable of brushing their teeth on their own. I really don’t like brushing their teeth and this is something I need to do better at, but I know that coming back to each one after they’ve brushed their teeth helps get them a lot cleaner.
6. Use a chore chart ~ A quick google search yields a lot of cute teeth brushing charts you can print for free. I think this one is super cute. But I’m using this one right now because it lasts for a month instead of just a week.
7. Read books about the importance of brushing teeth. These are some of the books my kids have really enjoyed. They help teach kids why oral hygiene is so important (something my kids often need to hear from some one besides Mom): Brush Your Teeth Please , Sesame Street Ready, Set, Brush, and The Tooth Book: A Guide to Healthy Teeth and Gums.
How do you make tooth brushing fun for your kids? I’d love to hear!
Linking up: Fat Tuesday;Disclosure: I received an assortment of Branam’s tooth gels to try but I was under no obligation to blog about them. My opinions are real and mine. If I didn’t like the products, I wouldn’t tell you about them. Pin It