I’m not a mom that hovers. In fact I’d like to think of myself as a pretty ‘hands-off’ mom who likes to teach/show a skill and then exit the room and let them have at it. Unfortunately this doesn’t work when you teach your kids how to brush their teeth.
If left to their own devices I believe that tooth brushing goes something like this for a five year old:
Step 1 – put a glob of toothpaste on the brush about the size of an apple.
Step 2 – get lots of toothpaste all over the sink, floor, and their body
Step 3 – run toothbrush under water and watch most of the toothpaste go down the drain
Step 4 -smear the paste that doesn’t make it down the drain, all over the sink and faucet
Step 5 – put toothbrush in mouth and suck off water and remaining toothpaste for just a few seconds
Step 6 – get more water and suck that off of the brush too
Step 7 – put toothbrush down and leave water on as you leave the bathroom
Sound familiar? Did you know that even good brushing misses 75% of your mouth? (And in kids – if they brush like mine do above – they miss about 99% – ha!). So until my kids can get into a good habit of brushing their teeth properly – both with technique and duration – I do hover over them. Even over my 11 year old. (Don’t tell her that I said so). Because oral health is so important. I also tell them horror stories of my root canal to keep them brushing longer!