Bedtime Brushing

Bedtime Brushing

We discovered with brushing the children's teeth, especially my daughter, she likes to start the job but at age 3 1/2,  she's not able to finish it. She would run away and hide the toothbrush. We had to buy a whole stockpile of toothbrushes cause she would hide them. It was miserable. 

We would avoid starting the bedtime routine because we just didn't want to confront this. I noticed that she was at the age where she loved to count and she loved her ABCs. So one day I just started to count her teeth and she immediately relaxed and she started to count with me. She became very interested in the process and we started to use that as a routine. 

We would count to about 20. When she got bored with that we would switch to the ABCs. We would sing the ABC song and we would be just about finished brushing her teeth as the song was ending. 

I still finish brushing her teeth, but the difference is now I come to her with her toothbrush and ask her what song she would like to sing. She will pick the song that she wants to sing, so it's not "are we going to brush the teeth or not?", it's now "what song are we singing?" She picks the song and then she lets me go in and finish her teeth and I pace it so that if I'm spending a little more time in one area, I slow the song down so that she has a sense of when this is going to be over. 

Bedtime goes much better. We say goodnight on a good note and we're starting this routine with our 17 month old. We sing songs and it seems to relax him and make him feel much more comfortable with the teeth brushing process.