Guest Expressed: “4 Ridiculous Attempts At Making Kids Brush Their Teeth”

Today Chris Turberville-Tully makes another return to the blog to demonstrate why making kids brush their teeth isn’t always an easy task.

Enter Chris:

Ask any parent and you will hear that getting a child to brush his or her teeth can be almost as challenging as potty training, though hopefully not as messy.

From whacky flavored toothpastes, motorized toothbrushes, silly songs and purple dancing dinosaurs to bribery and begging, it seems parents and manufacturers alike have attempted creative, sometimes disgusting, ways to get kids to brush their pearly whites.

4. That Flavor, Really?
Most toothpastes have fairly appealing flavors. After all, mint is a naturally refreshing taste for most people. For those who do not care for the taste of mint, there have traditionally been a limited number of flavor alternatives. Limited is no longer a fitting adjective to describe the selection of toothpaste for both kids and adults. Check out these interesting flavors:

  • Bacon – yes, really.
  • Cantaloupe – hmmm…that just does not sound appealing. “Johnny, let’s use this orange paste that tastes like cantaloupe!”
  • Pickle – this flavor may be better suited for some pregnant women.
  • Cupcake – perhaps enticing kids with cupcakes in a tube will convince them to brush once, but after that, they will probably insist on the real deal.

License: Creative Commons (Image Source)

Some other flavors may not sound too awful, but one has to wonder about their kid appeal: cherry vanilla and orange mango sound like flavors for more mature taste buds. After all, how many three year olds care about vanilla or mangos?

3. The Bribes
Bribery seems to be a common ingredient in the try-to-get-a-kid-to-brush-his-teeth recipe. Bribing with food is one of the more common but rather counter-productive bribery attempts. Why promise candy in exchange for brushing teeth? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of brushing? It seems like dads are the kings of tooth-brushing bribery. In this video, a clever dad feels quite pleased with his success in getting his daughter to brush her teeth. His bribe? He will take her out for a treat or a meal. The bribe works, but one has to see that this will become a rather expensive and time-consuming habit.

2. Daddy’s Turn
Taking turns is another common practice which can take on various forms. One mother suggested lying on the bed and letting a child brush mommy’s teeth first. Then mommy can brush the child’s teeth. It may be good practice for kids taking care of their older parents, but it’s probably not very effective. In this video, a daddy encourages his daughter to let him have a turn brushing her teeth. The process is long, tedious and comes to a rather sudden and unfortunate end.

1. The Fool’s Act
Most parents have to admit to resorting to all sorts of crazy antics at some point in their toothbrush-training career. From singing silly songs to attempting crazy antics, each parent has her own bag of tricks for getting kids to brush. Many of these efforts, however, appear to provide more entertainment for the child than actual motivation. Others seem to take a giant leap over their children’s heads, such as the fascinating, but definitely over most kids’ heads, demonstration found here.

Chris Turberville-Tully works for Dental Implants Dentists in the UK, a dental directory for finding dental surgeons in your town. Search the site to find the perfect clinic for you: