Do you have a hard time getting your kids to regularly brush and floss their teeth? Sometimes, it can feel like an all-out battle; but it’s a battle that needs to be won, am I right? The health of our kids’ teeth is important and developing good oral care when they’re young can ensure that they have healthy teeth as teenagers and young adults.
My youngest son is a vegetarian and although he eats very healthy and doesn’t drink many sugary drinks or eat much candy, he does eat a lot of citrus, which can eat away at his teeth. He loves having lemon water every day and as healthy as that sounds, lemons are very acidic and can be hard on his young teeth. I worry about the effect those acidic foods have on his teeth.
One thing we can do as parents is to make sure our kids have all the right “tools” they need to take care of their teeth. We can even take another step and make sure these tools are easy to get to and stored in a way that’s almost, well, fun! It’s amazing how something like creating a fun way for your kids to clean their rooms or put away their stuffed animals encourages them to keep their spaces clean.
I think it’s the same with their teeth. If everything they need is right there in front of them, colorful and dare I say fun, they just might look forward to breaking out that toothbrush and floss each night. That’s why I created this colorful kids’ tooth station that contains all of the things they need to take care of their teeth, stored in a cool way.
One of those “tools” is ProNamel’s® toothpaste for kids ages 6 to 12. My youngest is 12, which means the enamel on his new adult teeth is still very soft, making him very susceptible to acid erosion. Unfortunately, once that enamel erodes or is removed, it never grows back. Not only was I including something to prevent his soft teeth from experiencing acid erosion, but I was able to do it in a fun way, which he loved!
I knew I wanted something that was stored on the wall, to help clear up counter space. A few dollar buckets and wall hooks later and voila, a tooth station.
I got the idea for the permanent marker dot letters from these mugs and it worked quite well on the buckets. My kids were even able to help!
To get the same look, place a large sticker on the surface and begin making dots on the edge of your sticker. I chose three different colors to work with and concentrated on making the dots heavy closer to the sticker’s edge.
Let the permanent marker dots dry and then carefully peel the sticker off to reveal the letter underneath.
I chose to put toothpaste, flossers and a toothbrush in each bucket. My kids prefer the flossers to regular floss because it’s easier to use.
Next step in my project is to hang the wall hooks. I used anchors first to make sure the hooks were supported well. I’ve made the mistake of skipping that step a time or two and regretted it in the end. (Sorry hubby.)
Now that I had a place for my buckets filled with toothbrushes, toothpaste and flossers, I needed to deal with another issue: mouthwash. All three of my kids use it and it is the messiest stuff – it ends up everywhere! It drives me crazy. I’ve seen mouthwash in olive oil bottles as a spill-proof alternative, but I wanted something plastic for safety reasons. I was browsing through the bathroom section at my favorite store; that’s when I saw it — a soap dispenser!
It works brilliantly. I put the soap dispenser filled with mouthwash on a large soap tray and added 3-ounce cups. All it takes is a few pumps to get their mouthwash and they throw away the cup when they’re done. I do plan on labeling it “mouthwash” so none of their unsuspecting friends try to wash their hands with it.
Here’s what you’ll need to create your own DIY tooth station:
- Wall hooks
- Buckets with handles
- Colorful permanent markers
- Large letter stickers (appropriate for your bucket size)
- Soap dispenser
- Large soap tray
- 3-ounce disposable paper cups
I feel really good about how this turned out, but more than that I’m happy to have all of the supplies to promote healthy teeth conveniently located and easy (and fun) to use for my kids. Now, they have no excuse not to take care of those pearly whites, right?!