According to a leaflet Ben and Chloe brought home from school last week, under fives in Oldham have some of the worst tooth decay in the country. Nice. That’s a statistic to be proud of then.
Perfectly timed with the Oldham Council “Big Brush” campaign last week, we had already been invited to take part in the “Brush up on Brushing” campaign with Oasis Dental Care.
In order to encourage more regular, more effective teeth cleaning we were sent a special box with a reward chart, an egg timer, a brand new electric toothbrush and cinema vouchers as a treat.
Oasis Dental Care are keen to get kids excited about taking care of their teeth, particularly making sure that they brush for the recommended two minutes, twice a day.
Ben and Chloe have always been pretty good about brushing their teeth – if a little too independent. Whilst we supervise brushing, they’re not always too keen on letting us have a go ourselves to check they’ve got into all the awkward places. As they get older they are getting better at remembering when to brush their teeth and the bedtimes are absolutely routine but I hold my hands up to there being mornings where we’ve got part way to school and I suddenly ask “Have you brushed your teeth?”. At 4 and 6, this is not their responsibility. It is mine.
We decided that Chloe should be the one to have the shiny new toothbrush and that in itself has been a huge incentive. Having a grown up, electric toothbrush is an enormous novelty! Her new toothbrush makes all sorts of beepy noises to let you know when the time is up – and we particularly love that rather than immediately expecting her to brush for the full two minutes, it builds up to that steadily over time.
We’ve never been hot on the whole “two minutes” thing if I’m honest. Two minutes is longer than you think and I guess I’ve tended to work on the basis that if they’ve had the brush around their mouth we’re not doing too badly. I’ve meant to invest in a timer for them but have never got round to it so I was thrilled to find one in our special Brush up on Brushing box. Ben loves the idea of the egg timer we were sent and he’s been keen to make sure he brushes his teeth for the full time the sand is trickling through!
Of course the whole time that Ben and Chloe are taking increasing responsibility for their own dental care, they’re setting the perfect example for their little sister. Amy loves to brush her teeth, or more chew her toothbrush to bits. Usually she will let us have a go afterwards to check that they’re all sparkly clean.
After a full month of focusing on our brushing routines I’m confident that our new regimes are embedded and that tooth brushing has become more exciting! Ben has even asked for a new toothbrush like Chloe’s for Christmas!
Next job on the list is to book everyone a check up at the Dentist and then enjoy our trip to the cinema!
*We were sent a special box of goodies to aid us in our Brush up on Brushing month. All thoughts and opinions remain our own*