Overcoming Toothbrushing Challenges with Young Children

When my son got his first tooth, I proudly brushed his teeth with a finger brush and some fancy organic toothpaste. He loved it, like a real live mouth massage and his sore gums. Then, some time before 2 yrs old, “I do it myself” kicked in, and he refused to let me brush his teeth, which would have been fine if he brushed more than one quarter of his mouth.

I was laid back until I read on one of my forums about a toddler with terrible cavities. Because the adult teeth are below the baby teeth at birth, cavities must be filled, or they risk spreading to the permanent teeth. So, I desperately tried to convince him, but had no luck. As a final resort, I went the brute force method. Better that than cavities, I thought, but hated every moment.

Cavity Dragon for Web 6-22-13Later, fellow moms shared a secret. They told their children stories about terrible cavity bugs that eat through their teeth. Unless they brushed them, the bugs would eat their teeth up, and the child wouldn’t be able to chew any more. Skeptical, I thought, my kid will never buy it. But we invented a new story for my older child with our Cavity Dragons character, and it worked! Yes, he occasionally balks. But I just remind him of the story, and he lets me brush his teeth. In fact, he even flosses himself, with those plastic animal flossers.

Here’s our story to share with your kids!

Inside your mouth, mean old cavity dragons breathe fire and eat the leftover pieces of food in your mouth. They have such a great time, that every night, the fire gets bigger and bigger. Eventually, the poor teeth can’t handle the fire. And without teeth, how are you going to handle your favorite crunchy bread? BUT, there’s one way that you can chase the cavity dragons away. Brush and floss your teeth until not even a drop of food is left. Your teeth will be SO clean that the cavity dragons will be super duper hungry, and during the night they will leave your mouth to find more food.


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