Toddler brushing his teeth with personalized toothbrush
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Personalised Toothbrushes: Fun For Kids And Sanity-Saving For Parents

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If you, like many parents, struggle to get your children to brush their teeth, you may be at your wit's end. In fact, you might even be tempted to throw in the towel and lay off good brushing habits. Your children are going to lose their baby teeth eventually anyway, so does it really matter? Good oral health habits set the stage for hygiene habits in the future. At some point, your children will be responsible for their own teeth. If you don't give them the tools to do a good job, they may face dental problems down the road. Enter personalised toothbrushes! Kids are notorious for being willing to do otherwise undesirable things if they have a role and a choice in the process.

Your local pharmacy might sell personalised toothbrushes that come with stickers. Your child can choose the ones they like the most and stick them to his toothbrush. But you don't have to spring for these if you already have a large stash of stickers lying around the house. Purchase a plain toothbrush at the store and let your child choose stickers from their art box to decorate it with. Or use brightly coloured tempura paints and a small paintbrush, letting them paint small dots, swirls or their name on their toothbrush. Let the paint dry before brushing.

Letting your child custom design their personalised toothbrush and have a hand in its appearance goes a long way toward motivating him to actually use it. You likely will still have to stand nearby and put the finishing touches on the brushing job, but getting to admire his handiwork every morning and night is fun and motivating. If their skills start to lag or they lose interest in brushing, buy a new toothbrush and start over. Fortunately, toothbrushes are inexpensive and won't break the bank if you decorate a new one every month or so.

A word about safety: Stickers can be a choking hazard for toddlers. Make sure the stickers are firmly attached when you decorate the toothbrush, and check it every few days to make sure stickers aren't coming loose. Remove any peeling stickers and replace them. If your child chooses to paint his toothbrush, make sure you use nontoxic paint.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.