Friday, 20 July 2012
Is cleaning teeth a battle in your home??????
All of these kids seem perfectly happy cleaning their teeth! So why, oh why is it such a battle for me?!
Since starting this blog I have had quite a few emails from despairing parents about teeth cleaning. Each email read the same- 'My child refuses to clean their teeth', 'It's such a battle when it comes to cleaning teeth', 'What tips can you share about cleaning teeth?'.
My son will clean his teeth, but he is not keen on me supervising as I 'nag' him to clean for longer, brush more intently, use more/less toothpaste etc. This is when a battle can break out!
Also, recently, I have found it increasingly difficult to get Jacob to recognise that the things he eats and drinks can damage his teeth. He is well aware of the concept of 'Healthy Eating'. He knows that too much of certain foods can make you 'fat', but he is far less excepting of the fact that fizzy drinks can damage your teeth and that some fruits contain sugar that can harm your teeth.
So, in order to meet the needs of my readers and to find my son hard and fast proof that I was right about fizzy drinks I began to trawl the web!
I came accross 'Little Learners Publications'- their website can be found here
Little Learners publish two handy booklets for kids and parents explaining 'How to clean your teeth' and 'What to eat and drink for healthy teeth'.
I contacted Ian Aguado-Bush, one of the creators to find out more.
Ian was quick to admit he could not take full credit for the idea! His 7 year old son deserved credit too! Ian explained how his son had asked him to 'show the best way to keep his teeth clean' (very wise young man!). Ian was more than happy to show his son, but they both wondered how this process would be remembered for next time??
Ian roped in his arty friend- David Foreman (the illustrator of the the booklets) and they came up with a series of pictures designed as an aid to Ian's son. Realising they were onto something good, in terms of providing kids with a clear and direct way to remember how to clean their teeth, they enlisted the help of the British Dental Health Foundation and the booklets sprung to life! These booklets can now be found in dental practices accross the country!
Jacob was really excited to receive his booklets in the post! He wanted to read them immediately as they are bright, colourful and very appealing to children. Jacob initially opted to skip the 'How to clean your teeth' booklet, stating 'I know how to do that'! At this stage I left it and let him move on to 'What to eat and drink to keep your teeth healthy'.
Again this booklet is bright, 'child-enticing' and fun looking. Bearing in mind Jacob and I have been having an on-going battle about certain foods being harmful to teeth, he was keen to read this aloud to me, in order to prove me wrong! The chosen font made it clear and easy for him (age 6) to read it unaided. Also the pictures captured his imagination. He really liked the 'machine producing the acid'!
As we read through, we came to the page about fizzy drinks! Let's just say he suddenly changed tune! 'If the booklet says its true mummy it must be right!!!' I had to resist the 'told you so!'.
I decided to read the 'how to clean your teeth' booklet to myself, knowing Jacob needed to read this, his technique was far from perfect! A few seconds into me reading he slinked up beside me and chimed in! 'Look mummy it says you should brush in circles, I didn't know that!'. That was it he was hooked and wanted the booklet in the bathroom so he could 'use it' in the morning to check he was 'doing it right'. Amazing that having something written in a booklet like that is all a child needs to be convinced that it is 'the law' so to speak!
I was really impressed with the 'interactive' nature of these booklets. Not only can they be read together with parent and child, but they allow for interesting discussion (about cleaning technique, toothbrushes, toothpastes, food that is better for teeth etc) Jacob likes to check the labels for sugar contents now!
Best of all these booklets retail at £1.99 each. A family-friendly price, for a great child-friendly product!
Little learners will be featured on ITV Meridian news on Monday 23rd July or Tuesday 24th July, look out for them!