Monday, August 14, 2017

A Song to Brush Your Teeth By

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Filed under For Parents

I told you about a song that keeps my kid still so that I can change his diaper. To my amazement, that still works (most of the time)!

brushing teethEarly on in my child’s life, I needed to brush my teeth and he was in my arms. I didn’t want him to grab my toothbrush, so I found a small toothbrush that came in a pack of baby-care items that I got at a baby shower. I handed that to him and said, “First you brush your bottom teeth, then you brush your top teeth, then you brush your tongue.” I think he had 2 teeth at that time, and he just sucked on the toothbrush, but he watched me brush my teeth (which was a feat while holding a squiggly infant).

I knew that brushing teeth can be a source of difficulty for toddlers and preschoolers, and that parents usually needed to actually brush the child’s teeth after the child chewed on the toothbrush for a while, so I added, “Good brushing! Let me check and see how you did,” and as I brushed his teeth, I repeated, “Did you brush your bottom teeth? Did you brush your top teeth? Did you brush your tongue?” He didn’t really let me actually do much in his mouth, but I was setting up the routine that he would brush and then I would check.

I also added, “Rinse off the tooth brush, dry off your mouth, hang up the towel, get a high-five, and a kiss!” Soon, I would say, “Let’s go brush our teeth!” and he would crawl to the bathroom and pull himself up to stand, reaching for me to pick him up. “Teeth” was one of his first words and he still loves the routine. Now, he usually lets me actually brush his teeth and tongue, loves giving a high-five, and sticks his cheek out to receive his kiss.

As I do with many things, I turned all these words into a song. The melody sort of reflects the prosody of the words–it mirrors the inflection and tone that I normally use when speaking. I’m not going to record my song, because I think it’s more important for you to sing it however you want to. But I would recommend putting it to a melody, because I can now hum the melody while I have the toothbrush in my mouth and he knows what the words are that go with it!

Here are the words I use. I match them up with the actions I’m doing and repeat them as necessary. Create your own melody with it and use it every time you brush your teeth (or your child brushes his teeth) to create the routine and expectations.

It’s time to brush our teeth! First you brush your bottom teeth, then you brush your top teeth, then you brush your tongue!

Now it’s time to check and see how you did. Did you brush your bottom teeth? Did you brush your top teeth? Did you brush your tongue?

Yay! You did it! Now rinse off your toothbrush, dry off your mouth, hang up the towel, get a high-five, and a kiss!

Let me know if this worked for you!

Other Mommy Posts:

Mommy Support Group Radio Show

A Song for Eating

How I Distract My Baby So I Can Complete a Diaper Change

Hear these songs:

Check Out Health Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Janice Lindstrom on BlogTalkRadio