The Don has been brushing his teeth without my husbands or my help for almost a year now. Although he can hold a brush to his teeth, he hasn’t properly learned how to brush his teeth. I realize that at The Don’s age, their dexterity of holding their hands to brush their teeth won’t be as good as an adults, but at the age of almost four years old, he should be able to steadily hold the brush to brush his teeth properly. However, this is not the case.
When my husband first started to help show The Don’s how to brush his teeth, he make it in a game of brushing really fast and to try to make it fun for him. My husband would brush with him and they would make it into a contest of who can brush their teeth the fastest. Although that must of been fun, when I get him in the mornings to brush his teeth on the weekends, he wasn’t brushing right. I tried to show him how to brush his teeth: front, right side, left side, inside right bottom, inside left bottom, inside right top, inside right bottom. I found myself drill sergeant him and over him to brush his teeth right. I thought to myself, “There’s got to be a better way!” I was going crazy standing over him, making him brush his teeth and The Don wasn’t feeling it either.
I noticed that The Don is in playful mood when brushing his teeth instead of focusing on the task of brushing his teeth. So, I needed a way to help him focus and make it interested to brush his teeth. COUNTING! I know The Don likes to count. The Don can count up to twenty but he starting to count to thirty. I used this as an opportunity to help him brush his teeth and learn how to count thirty at the same time.
I started to have him count up to thirty to help him focus to brush his teeth: 30 front teeth, 30 side right, 30 side left, 30 inside bottom right, 30 inside bottom left, 30 inside right upper, 30 inside left upper. Come to think of it, adding all of this together equals more than the recommended two minutes time to brush your teeth. BRILLIANT! Well, not brilliant I’m sure other parents figure this out but it’s brilliant for my standards.
I think The Don is getting the hang of brushing his teeth and he’s having fun too.
So, if your child is having trouble focusing on brushing their teeth, have them count to thirty each side. If they don’t know how to count to thirty, brushing their teeth is a good place to start.