There are so many things that can make my day.

A drawing or unsolicited hug from one of my kids.

Mealtimes with lots of laughter and few complaints.

A new episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

Finding chai K-cups on sale at the grocery.

I’m easy to please.

But there is one thing that can tick me off like none other ….

I have to holler and plead and growl and remind and remind again my children to brush their teeth.

Every single day, morning and night.

Usually they simply knock on their foreheads like they should have had a V8 and claim that they forgot! Crazy! They run upstairs and brush while I tap my foot, car key in hand.

Sometimes they outright lie and say they brushed, when I can smell their knock-you-over morning breath mixed with peanut butter toast from 20 feet away.

Some variation of this happens every day with both Charlie and Eve.

Back in the good old days, when I found helping my first sweet baby brush his teeth so fun! That chick was crazy. 

But this battle is worth it.

Reminding my kids to brush and supervising their brushing is a war I have (resignedly) signed on to wage. Oral infection is the leading chronic disease in kids and it is so easily preventable. We simply have to keep up our twice-daily hollering, reminding and checking …. our early brainwashing, if you will. Eventually these little humans will accept brushing their own teeth every morning and night as part of their daily lives.

All kids over the age of two should be using toothpaste containing fluoride. Only a pea-sized amount is necessary for each brushing session to have anti-cavity benefits, and in fact, more is not recommended to minimize swallowing of fluoride.

Kids under the age of six should be supervised in order to develop good brushing and rinsing habits and to minimize product swallowing. My three-year-old Alice still insists that I brush her teeth for her, but at least this babying does not require another full-blown war.

Please excuse my unbloggable early morning pre-gym, pre-mani state pictured above. 

Valentine’s Day is a great time to remind ourselves that fights, the shouts, the smelling of breath is all worth it. Those snarls at the front door are all in the name of parental love!

Thanks to all the sugary sweets our kids will be consuming at their school Valentine’s Day parties, it is also a great time to book the kids their six-month tooth cleaning. Surprisingly, my kids loooove going to the dentist and having their twice-yearly cleaning by the hygienist. (I think it is the getting out of school plus receiving a “swag bag.”) 

Over 50% of children will have some tooth decay by age 5. Let’s keep fighting the good fight to give our kids the best dental start we can. 


Disclosure: I am proud to serve as an #OTCSafety blogger on behalf of I am compensated for my original contributions and help spreading the word about families’ safe use of over-the-counter products.

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