This was originally posted by the Marion & Polk Early Learning Hub here.

You know what’s really cute?  Seeing your kid smile and get excited about brushing their teeth!  You know what’s even cuter?  Watching your four-year old grab their toothbrush and bring out the little one for his 16-month old sister as well!  We’ve really tried to emphasize the importance of brushing your teeth every day to our little ones from an early age.   The American Dental Association recommends that you start brushing your kids’ teeth with a tiny bit of toothpaste as soon as that first one starts to appear.  

In our house we did our best to follow that recommendation and tried to make it fun as well.  Our son’s first toothbrush was a cute little banana-shaped brush that he really enjoyed using.  As he outgrew that one we allowed him to pick his favorite TV or book character-themed brushes.  His current toothbrush is neon-colored and lights up!  It actually has a timer on the lights so he knows when it is time for him to stop brushing!  Our daughter’s brush is shaped like a cluster of little raspberries.

Besides making the toothbrush itself fun we also tried to make the experience fun as well.  If any of you know the Raffi song about brushing your teeth we have definitely tried that.  Hearing your little toddlers try to say “ch, ch, ch” as they brush their teeth is pretty adorable!  We’ve even tried making silly noises or sounds while we brush and have let them pretend to brush our teeth as well to make it more of a family activity and hopefully encourage its importance.  This seems to have really helped so far with our son as his yearly dental visits have gone very well and the dentist has been impressed with both the cleanliness of his teeth and his good behavior while getting them checked.  Keeping those chompers clean and healthy is important as kids grow. Making it fun at an early age can really help start them on a path to long term dental wellness.

This is fatherhood…