Win a $100 Visa Gift Card! – Let’s Talk About Dentist Visits and Tooth Success


The ProNamel® brand has compensated me in connection with statements made in this post.

E W Toothpaste Each year in September and March, I take the kids in for dental check ups. Back in the day when I had a slew of kids at home, we were quite the sight, taking up every chair in the office for several hours. I still group the youngest five together in one batch of appointments – I’m all about efficiency. We have a great dental practice in our town and thankfully, my children love their appointments. The boys are getting bigger, but they still love the “bear cave” in the waiting room where they can watch a movie while they wait.

E W toothpaste 2 The prize treasure chest is still a hit too. I don’t have too many more years of my boys being excited over colorful sticky hands that can be flung on windows, super balls, and parachute guys, but for now, it’s still a fun moment to dig through the chest for the best prizes. My girls are motivated by their desire for white smiles and straight teeth. Claire is very serious about keeping her teeth clean while she has braces and even uses a water flosser daily. I keep a bag of individual flossers in the kitchen cupboard that I encourage the boys to use as I read to them before school. They’re fidgety anyhow, so we might as well put that energy to good use. W toothpaste Additionally, I give them a toothpaste they like and will use. If it’s too “spicy,” they avoid it, so milder flavors are better. I specifically look for a toothpaste that actively strengthens their tooth enamel and sets them up for “tooth successes” in the future. I like ProNamel® 6-12 Years Toothpaste for Kids, which is designed for 6-12 year old’s to help protect enamel from cavities and everyday acids. The boys are 9 and 11, their baby teeth are coming out and their permanent teeth are coming in, so this is a critical time to set the stage for the future. I have a few more years of the tooth fairy and being in charge of my kids’ dental care. I’m pleased that my older kids are still in the habit of regular check ups and they take good care of their teeth. We made the investment in good dental care and braces (serious money!) when they were young, and it is paying off.

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How do you set up your kids for tooth success? Tell me in the comments and you will be entered to win a $100 Visa gift card!

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

73 Comments

  1. Kirsten
    September 15, 2016

    One thing I have done for my daughter is I started taking her to the dentist when she was about 1 or 1.5 years old. I personally don’t remember a time when I didn’t go to the dentist – it’s just part of my personal routine and I hope she feels the same way. I also allow her to pick out her toothbrush and flossers. Lastly, I always always tell her the truth when we go to the dentist (or any medical professional) about what is going to happen. That way we can talk about it and hopefully get any concerns out of the way.

    Reply
    1. Kristy
      September 28, 2016

      While I don’t have my own children, I encourage my nephews by buying them fun electric toothbrushes that have timers on them and letting them pick out the character they want on it. When I watch them at night I encourage them to brush until their brush timer goes off

      Reply
  2. Will G
    September 15, 2016

    I make sure they brush twice a day.

    Reply
    1. Ann Megill
      September 29, 2016

      My kids get to the dentist every six months w/o fail. And there is much praise for good checkups.

      Reply
  3. Natalie
    September 15, 2016

    We all use electric toothbrushes so that we all brush our teeth for 2 minutes at a time.

    Reply
  4. Emily
    September 15, 2016

    We have a great dentist for the kids – not just the dentist, but the whole office is great with kids and families.

    Reply
  5. Elena
    September 15, 2016

    we brush teeth together

    Reply
  6. Elena
    September 15, 2016

    tweet-https://twitter.com/ElenaIstomina/status/776556618028752896

    Reply
  7. Anita Olson
    September 15, 2016

    We struggle with teeth stuff. We find the toothbrush is important. Small and soft. Despite years of brushing, they have sensitive gums.

    Reply
  8. Emily
    September 15, 2016

    We have those easy floss tools readily accessible so they can hopefully be used more often. Also soft bristled tooth brushes because we found the firmer ones can wreck enamel or wear at the gums. 🙂

    Reply
  9. Mita
    September 16, 2016

    I try do Mouthwash and brush twice a day.

    Reply
  10. Lisa Brown
    September 17, 2016

    I make sure they brush twice and day and floss, keep sugary foods in the house to a minimum.

    Reply
  11. Lisa Brown
    September 17, 2016

    tweet-https://twitter.com/LuLu_Brown24/status/777124501762867201

    Reply
  12. Julie Wood
    September 17, 2016

    I got them a really nice toothbrush, and floss, and mouthwash and we do our teeth together to keep our teeth clean. We get yearly dental check ups and stay away from sugar candy.

    Reply
  13. Julie Wood
    September 17, 2016

    tweet-https://twitter.com/JewelWood/status/777133160937074689

    Reply
  14. mami2jcn
    September 17, 2016

    I let them pick out their toothbrushes in the store so that they’re excited about brushing.

    Reply
  15. mami2jcn
    September 17, 2016

    tweet–https://twitter.com/mami2jcn/status/777141635301933057

    Reply
  16. Jessica To
    September 17, 2016

    We brush our teeth together twice a day.

    Reply
  17. Kelly D
    September 17, 2016

    I take my kids to the dentist twice a year and also let them choose their own flavors of toothpaste to set them up for success.

    Reply
  18. Steve Weber
    September 17, 2016

    We sing silly songs before and while we brush our teeth so it makes brushing something they look forward to

    groogruxking40 @ gmail dot com

    Reply
  19. Jessie C.
    September 18, 2016

    My kids get to pick their favorite toothbrushes and toothpastes, and this makes brushing more interesting to them.
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

    Reply
  20. Jessie C.
    September 18, 2016

    tweet-https://twitter.com/tcarolinep/status/777639648692547584

    Reply
  21. Julianne
    September 19, 2016

    Having a ‘kid friendly’ dentist is so beneficial. Mine are always asking when their next appointment is.
    After their tooth cleaning routine their want me to smell their mouth 😷
    LOL! Whatever it takes…

    Reply
  22. Mary
    September 19, 2016

    For my younger one, I was blessed to find a kid’s dentist who took Medicaid since she was still in foster care when we started. They have been great working with her and her sensory and delay issues over the years . The hygienists are happy to review brushing and flossing each time I ask.
    My girl uses a smaller, softer brush she can fit in her small mouth and gets to pick out the floss picks. She uses the mouth rinse almost daily.
    Our dentist says chocolate is better than crackers since it doesn’t get stuck between teeth like the crackers can. (He wrote a book about it.)

    Reply
  23. Rachel
    September 20, 2016

    My son visits the dentist every 6 months for a cleaning and we make sure he brushes his teeth twice a day.

    Reply
  24. Elle
    September 21, 2016

    We visit the dentist regularly and I try to make tooth brushing fun with music and character inspired tooth brushes.

    Reply
  25. Mauri Knott
    September 23, 2016

    We do routine dental visist to our favoorite dentist office, “Bearable”, also my daughter who take inhaled steroids has to be diligent about rinsing and brushing after she does her meds.

    Reply
  26. Kristen
    September 25, 2016

    We try to show by example how and when to brush. Also agree about “spicy”….I myself don’t like flavors of toothpaste with too strong a bite!

    Reply
  27. Noreen
    September 25, 2016

    Be a great example, I brush and floss twice daily. I also found a great dentist that my kids adore so they want to visit and want to impress. My oldest just got braces Thursday so if we win I am going to get a water flosser for her.

    Reply
  28. Tamara
    September 26, 2016

    As a family we often talk about having healthy teeth and zero cavities. Kids can always do with extra reminders!
    westiemks5 at yahoo dot com

    Reply
  29. Sarah
    September 28, 2016

    My husband has always made up fun songs amd when he starts singing the littles start running back to the bathroom giggling.

    Reply
  30. Kate
    September 28, 2016

    We know a few teeth brushing songs which help us count the time we’re scrubbing. 🙂

    Reply
  31. Leslie R
    September 28, 2016

    I take them to get their teeth cleaned regularly and encourage them to brush with a toothpaste flavor they like.

    Reply
  32. Amy K
    September 28, 2016

    We’ve had some dental issues with our oldest but we remain diligent. 6 month cleanings, brush in the morning, brush, mouth wash, and floss at night. Being diligent and staying on top of the issues has got us through a year cavity free now so we are happy!

    Reply
  33. Jennifer Mcconnell
    September 28, 2016

    One of mine with special needs was terrified of doctors and dentists. We found a dentist that specialized in kids with special needs. He was amazing and my daughter finally enjoyed going. We use electric toothbrushes, ones that sing, ones that light up. Whatever works! We also use flavored floss:)

    Reply
  34. Lisa
    September 28, 2016

    We buy fun toothbrushes which seems to help get them going. Brushing twice a day is a great routine we try to stick with.

    Reply
  35. Gina
    September 28, 2016

    I let my three year old brush first and then I do it for her. Overall we actually struggle lots with good teeth habits 🙁 this post was encouraging! And I hope I win the 100$ 😉

    Reply
  36. Rachel
    September 28, 2016

    We use DoTERRA Onguard toothpaste and it is amazing!!!!

    Reply
  37. Bethel Vatsaas
    September 28, 2016

    Electric toothbrushes for the win! Mine don’t like spicy toothpaste either.

    Reply
  38. Krista Anglen
    September 29, 2016

    My kids love the easy flossers, it Ian something they can do on their own! Also electric toothbrushes are helpful too to get in the nooks and crannies in their teeth. And we don’t let them eat much sugar.

    Reply
  39. JP
    September 29, 2016

    We started at a young age with both of our boys. Visits to the Family Dentist are routine and are not full of fear.

    Reply
  40. Kirsten Miller
    September 29, 2016

    We use the little individual flossers rather the the long string kind. I discovered these about ten years ago when my hand was in a cast and I needed to floss one-handed. Much easier to use, so we’re more consistent about flossing

    Reply
  41. Angela Saver
    September 29, 2016

    We have set our kids up for tooth success by educating them from a very young age on the importance of brushing & flossing, as well as regular dental check-ups. It helped when they were young to brush together to be sure they were doing it properly!

    Andysavi.Mom@gmail.com

    Reply
  42. Elizabeth
    September 29, 2016

    My baby is only a few months old but brushing her teeth is already part of her bedtime routine! Hoping it will be so ingrained that she can’t help but keep going when she gets older. 🙂

    Reply
  43. Rachel
    September 29, 2016

    Our littles compete for the stool and sink time, brushing their teeth. They use an hourglass egg timer to brush.

    Reply
  44. Kim
    September 29, 2016

    In addition to setting aside specific times to brush teeth, we let the kids pick out an electric toothbrush that they like. I keep a variety of floss and toothpaste in the cabinet so they can choose what they like. Of course, regular dental visits are important as well.

    Reply
  45. Blessed
    September 29, 2016

    Sing with them while they brush. Silly songs that remind them how long to brush and which parts to make sure to get. : )

    Reply
  46. Glenda Dunaway
    September 29, 2016

    My kiddos love to brush, but are still young enough to struggle on how long to brush. I love getting them the brushes that flash until it’s time to stop. They also have fun flossers.

    Reply
  47. Becky
    September 29, 2016

    Our youngest son flipped over the handlebars of his bike last year when he was 9 and broke his two front teeth. We knew that he would eventually need to get root canals in both of those teeth, which finally became necessary over the past month. He did such an amazing job during the whole 3 visit process. Several people in the endodontist’s office commented that many of the adults they work on don’t do as well. Though it was a miserable situation, I was so glad that our kids have visited the dentist ever six months since they were little. Many years of pleasant dental visits made a big difference when the unpleasant ones came around.

    Reply
  48. Lisa H.
    September 29, 2016

    We’ve tried to prioritize good dental care as well and just took our little guys for their first check-ups. Interestingly, the one with the greater staining, actually had no cavities, while my little guy with no visible issues had 8! So we’ll be getting to our pediatric dentist well over the next month or so… ;o)

    Lisa H.

    Reply
  49. Melissa Kugler
    September 30, 2016

    Geesh. I am thanking God above each time my children ate cavity free. With 4 of them my luck will run dry eventually. I wish I could take credit. Lol. My older two…they do pretty good. We bought them the $50 rechargeable toothbrush and they use Act mouthwash. Those have been the saving grace. Tend to stick with more natural toothpaste though. My littlest 2..we sing the ABCs to try and make it as enjoyable as possible. 🙂 all in all….they are doing well.

    Reply
  50. Michelle B.
    September 30, 2016

    We use a child friendly dentist, that does there best to help children not be afraid of them or there experience. We used a dentist with my oldest son, who had me in tears. We never went back there so as a patent who is not fond of the dentist I am glad to have found a dentist that my kids like & I dont have to worry about them developing a fear of dentist.

    Reply
  51. Abra
    September 30, 2016

    I’m definitely going to try the children’s ProNamel. One of my children has panic attacks (sensory sensitivities) if we use a toothpaste that is too “spicy”, which means we usually end up using more natural ones — which would be fine, but I’m a firm believer in appropriate amounts of fluoride. Thank you for the tips!

    Reply
  52. Leigh Ann R.
    September 30, 2016

    I just made our appts yesterday!! We block out a big chunk when we go because I lump my appt with my four children. They all enjoy going and my bios have never had a cavity. Our adopted daughter’s teeth have gotten so much better since coming to the US and I’m hopeful this will be her first appt without a cavity.

    Reply
  53. Corinne
    September 30, 2016

    My husband does the teeth brushing at night with our two toddlers, making it extra fun because it’s with Daddy. Yes to a non-“spicy” toothpaste, and as we were starting out, I had to find a toothbrush with a small enough head. Some of the kids brushes were very rectangular and bulky. We get some slim ones with Peanut characters and they enjoying choosing a color.

    Reply
  54. Ann h
    September 30, 2016

    My kids brush better when there is something new like a different flavored paste or new battery powered toothbrush. This year I bought them each their own basket and it’s helped for everyone tonnage theories personal supplies.

    Reply
  55. Rachel
    September 30, 2016

    Well, I suppose we keep it simple and everyday… we make sure the kids brush their teeth every night and go to the dentist for a cleaning twice a year.

    Reply
  56. Denise
    September 30, 2016

    We brush and rinse every night and brush in the morning. We also try to floss, but that is not always daily. I had never thought about using a toothpaste that would help the enamel in their teeth. Definitely going to look into this. Thanks

    Reply
  57. Ann
    September 30, 2016

    I have three different locations for brushing teeth (so everyone who’s not an adult has at least 3 toothbrushes). AND I keep the little red bags of disposable toothbrushes in my car. NO EXCUSES!!!

    Reply
  58. Kathryn C
    September 30, 2016

    #SweepstakesEntry- comment

    by stressing the importance of dental hygiene but making it fun- We always let our son choose his favorite toothbrush and colored dental floss

    Reply
  59. Kathryn C
    September 30, 2016

    my #SweepstakesEntry tweet:

    https://twitter.com/thrincor/status/781938340769792004

    Kathryn C

    Reply
  60. Margaret
    September 30, 2016

    My kids love going to the dentist and getting new floss, toothpaste, timers, toothbrushes, and a prize from the prize drawer. I also love pronamel products to clean and protect our teeth. Thanks for the chance!

    Reply

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