It’s rare that I’ll extol the virtues of a battery-operated gimmick aimed at kids, but I love these toothbrushes. I was over at an old friend’s place, and her dentist husband overheard me talking about brushing the kids’ teeth. I wasn’t making any wild complaints about it, but it is a ritual that takes some effort and patience because I don’t leave it to the kids alone. My friends agreed that adult help is needed for cleaning young kids’ teeth, and the husband quietly stepped out.
When he returned, he brandished these brushes, which my kids wanted to try straightaway. They’re fairly simple affairs, but are designed to look like crayons. The real appeal, though, is that the tootbrushes light up. By pressing a small button at the base of the brush, it blinks on and off for one minute. My dentist friend told me that the kid should brush for the first minute, after which the button should be pressed again and the adult brushes for one minute.
It’s been about 10 days and getting the kids to brush is a cinch. They will even volunteer to brush during the day, as well as in the morning and evening. They know they get the first turn to brush (independence) and that the adult goes next (help). The blinking light not only entertains the kids, but it also really helps with expectations – they know that the brushing will be over when the light goes out. We use the oven timer downstairs to help with expectations and taking turns in general, but I hadn’t thought of using one in the bathroom. Now we have a built-in. This little brush is a little exemplar of how well things go if kids know what’s going to happen and can share a role in it.
We have cleaner teeth, smoother routines (especially at night), and my three-year old doesn’t run away in the middle of brushing because it’s more fun to get the brushing done. And for those of us who dislike battery-operation, at least this battery is a LED light.
I haven’t bought one in stores yet, but I think the premium for this brush is manageable, since the price of a brush isn’t much anyway (my online looking prices them at $3 or $4). In case you’re wondering, I’m endorsing this brush on my own free will, and believe you me there are no freebie boxes of these brushes lining my linen closet. I just like them.
A final note: 60 seconds is longer than you think it is, and you may end up spending more time on actual brushing than you did before. But you’ll make up the difference with less time cajoling your kids to brush. Worthy trade.