Worried Kids Aren’t Brushing Long Enough? Here Are 7 Tricks To Try

Photo: get directly down/Creative Commons

It is very hard to get my children to brush. They’re teens and they want their independence, but at the same time I’m their mom and I want a little return on the investment I made called dental work.

Being a work-at-home-mom means I multitask, and I teach my children that there are some things you can do to save time and time is money, right? In this case the time they invest in brushing saves us a few dollars in return trips to the orthodontist. So in the interest of doing the most with our time and our money, I’ve come up with a few things my kids can do while brushing or rinsing with Listerine. And a couple they should have been doing when they were new to the brushing scene.

1. Listen to tunes. Is it just me or do kids zone out when they are listening to music?  Now I don’t expect they would be world record holders at brushing if they were to listen to music all day while rinsing, but I know they can hold out for a whole song.

2. Pick up their clothes. I try to lump tasks together. It only takes a few minutes to pick up your room and a few minutes to brush your teeth. They do both with one arm anyway. Can’t they then in theory do both at the same time?

3. Mentally check the to-do list. You are brushing at the start of your day and it is the perfect opportunity to make sure everything that can be done gets done.

4. Watch TV. If they sit through one commercial break and brush or rinse that’s equal to about the two minutes dentists recommend that they brush and double that for rinsing.

5. Try to talk to each other. This is a funny one, but I find that trying to get their mouths to work around their brushes helps them get to more of the hard to reach spots better.

6. Read.  About one page of the book they like now is a good time reference for them.

7. Watch the opening of a video game. This one is mostly for my son. He loves watching the scenes that give a description of the games’ premises. I say watch, brush, and be merry!

So these are some of the things I try to have my kids do so that they get in their requisite two minutes of brushing twice a day. What kinds of things would you suggest?   Should I see if I can get them to brush and walk the dog, too?

A big thanks to Listerine Kids for sponsoring this campaign. Click here to see more of the discussion.

Yo! Nice to meet you! You can find out more about me on my blog, Good Enough Mother.

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