Those are not exactly the words you want to hear from your long time dentist. “What did I do?” I thought to myself. My kids bush their teeth every day; we use anti-cavity toothpaste; I water down all the juice. “What went wrong?” Well, apparently a lot.
I am sad and a little embarrassed to admit that my 5 year old son has 2 cavities! I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! How is that possible? He is only 5! Well, it’s very possible and now I know why!
Even though my husband and I were diligent in getting him to brush his teeth, we allowed him to be too independent with this essential task. As a full time working mom, it became easier to set up the toothbrush with the right amount of toothpaste and just say “go brush your teeth.” I would then pack the bags and prepare 2 kids and myself for the day, a daunting task itself!
Here is what I should have done and will do from now on!
Although my son is very independent, this is one task he should be guided with daily. As a parent, I must help and make sure my son reaches EVERY tooth! He MUST brush not only his teeth but his gums as well. He also has to brush for at least 2 MINUTES!
My new plan:
1. Get the toothbrush ready as usual but brush his teeth myself for 2 minutes first. As I brush, I will explain what I am doing and make sure he feels and understands the correct brushing techniques.
2. Make sure he knows how to rinse and spit (into the sink!). That is an essential part of brushing so he does not swallow the toothpaste.
3. Rinse the brush and let him brush again using the techniques he has been taught.
4. This will be repeated at least twice a day!
My goal is to have my son so skilled that he will once again be independent (with my continued guidance of course). To make this process fun, my dentist provided me with an adorable Disney’s Cars toothbrush that came with a free downloaded app to time tooth brushing. (Keep a look out for that review!)
So now you know what has happened to me, and I hope your child can avoid the same fate. Keep brushing because Healthy Teeth make for Happy Kids!!
Coming soon – Healthy Teeth, Happy Kids series: Keeping Babies Teeth Clean