More reason to smile: Brushing Kids’ Teeth

I remember a few years ago asking Aron why electric toothbrushes couldn’t be made to be more attractive. Ours was always sitting out in a clunky base charger, cord in the way. It wasn’t long after that quip arrived on the scene, almost as if they’d been listening. So yes, it was the look that first drew me in: a slim design, attractive brush-metal color options, and a travel-ready holder that can affix to the mirror or bathroom tile. But I was further intrigued when I learned its sonic vibrations would be quieter.

Still, change doesn’t always come quickly, and I hadn’t given it a chance until now, when I learned that quip was launching kids’ electric toothbrushes. I knew the kids would be excited about matching toothbrushes, and I’m excited about helping them love to brush.

Because oral health is so closely tied to overall health, we have been making brushing a part of the kids’ routine since those first baby teeth arrived. Aron would tell them about the sugar bugs and how we’d sweep them away! Even now, they still talk about brushing in terms of keeping those critters at bay. So, today, in partnership with quip, here are some of the ways we’ve been helping our family make brushing more fun, and how some of the features of the quip electric toothbrush can help…

Choose the right tools.

Small mouths and small hands make finding an age-appropriate, ADA-accepted brush important. Kids need all the same simple features as adults do, but with a smaller head and soft bristles. You can see the difference in the size of my quip and Skyler’s, above. We also look for child-specific flossers, mouthwash, and toothpaste—and let them pick the flavor. We haven’t tried it yet, but quip is releasing a new anti-cavity paste, tailored for kids’ taste with a watermelon flavor.

Then, once they’re comfortable, an electric toothbrush can help them get the plaque off, even if their own dexterity isn’t quite perfected.  Let them feel it on the palm of their hand, first. Ours like the tickle!

Let them feel in control.

Kids relish a little responsibility, and teeth-brushing is often one of the first habits that can be all their own. Of course, we ‘re actually watching closely still to make sure they’re not using too much toothpaste (from a smear as toddlers to a pea-sized amount now), and that they’re spitting out anything with fluoride. Funny sidenote: my kids love mouthwash but can’t figure out how to swish, so they shake their whole heads. It’s so funny!

Something important that gives them autonomy, while letting us know that they’re doing a good job, is a timer. For us, as well as for the kids, a timer ensures that we are actually brushing for two minutes at a time—twice a day. To help us all reach the two-minute mark, quip includes a built-in timer that pulses every 30 seconds (for each quadrant of the mouth), and then the sonic vibrations turn off after two minutes.

We also make sure there’s a stool, so that they can watch themselves in the mirror (making plenty of funny faces, too).

Set a good example.

Dentists recommend letting your children see you brush and floss, as they naturally want to emulate you. For quite some time, whenever we would brush, we would brush in front of the kids. Our dentist suggested making this a game: take turns pretending to be a mirror the next time you brush together, copying each other’s every move. His motto? “The family that brushes together has even more reason to smile.”

Other ways to make the time fun? Books, videos, and songs. A friend recommended this Elmo tooth-brushing video, with its catchy tune.

In the end, the key to oral health is good habits, not gimmicks! It’s less about which brush you use, and more about how well you use it!

If you’d like to see how quip can help, the ADA-accepted quip electric toothbrush starts at just $25, and their subscription service delivers a new brush head and battery, every three months for just $5! Get quip for your entire family. Plus, get your first $10 refill for free by going to

Do you have any good tips to add for encouraging good brushing habits? 

P.S. Thinking about morning routines, getting kids to school on time, and how to get kids to eat their veggies.

This post was sponsored by quip

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