Seeing as we have JUST passed Halloween, I'm sure your cupboards are still crawling with mini chocolate bars and mini chip bags. Perfect timing for a blog post about the bathroom fight over flossing and brushing.
I hear lots of parents complaining about the fight over the toothbrush before bed, and for some, in the morning too.
Toddlers especially, can be very stubborn, all they have to do is clamp their little mouth shut, and wiggle their little fist, and you are left bribing and squabbling for an hour before bed, or in the midst of the morning rush to get out the door.
You might already be in this fight and need help getting out of it, for some parents they may give up on the fight which could cause oral problems later on. If you have younger children, then start off on the right foot (or in the case tooth), prevention is better than cure!
Start early by give them a soft bristle toothbrush when they can hold it - babies are oral developers, and it will naturally go straight to their mouths' and they will clamp down, move it around, trigger their gag reflex but become desensitized to the sensation.
For older children, every time they go to the washroom give them a toothbrush as they are occupied and they get used to the texture. You could do this with smaller babies, whilst changing their bottoms.
Start flossing early, even if they don’t need it - normalize the sensations' and make this a part of the routine. If they don't know it any other way, there is nothing to battle over.
Although many people don't like going to the dentist (me included) DO NOT react negatively when talking about the dentist, or going to the dentist.
Go to the dentist from a very young age! As early as you can - get them into the habit of opening wide and letting someone peer inside their mouth.
Don’t threaten children with; "if you eat too much candy you will have to go to the dentist". This makes going to the dentist sounding like a punishment so the process of going to the dentist becomes negative.
If children do not want to use toothpaste, it’s ok as long as they are physically removing plague build up with the toothbrush.
If you do find its a fight, it is one you need to win. Omitting teach brushing can lead to dire consequences later on, going to have teeth taken out, will result in more stress for everyone, than just ensuring the teeth get the love they need, DAILY.