Brushing teeth every day, twice a day, for two minutes
0 Cart
Added to Cart
    You have items in your cart
    You have 1 item in your cart
    Check Out Continue Shopping

    The Story

    Why can't I?

    Why can't I?

    If you are struggling with your child to brush their teeth for 2 minutes and twice a day, you already know all the techniques they are using. It's as if they all have read the same manual!  You start nicely, you ask them to open their mouth, they cooperate for about 6 to 10 seconds and that's it.

    There are many reasons why it's hard to get these 2 minutes that we are talking about. For us it seems nothing. What is 2 minutes? Let's look at it from their point of view.

    I would name a few reasons - not all of them suits every child, but one reason is enough to make the chore impossible to accomplish. See if you find your child as described below:

    1. Your child is at the "Terrible Twos" (even if he/she is already 3 years old…).
      A big NO is the main issue at this stage as you already know. They feel the need to control situations; they have a strong desire for independence. Standing in front of you letting you control the situation is against their nature at this point. They need to stop it!
    2. The "Me Alone" child. They need to feel that they know how to do things as grown-ups do, so there is no option to stand there doing nothing. It’s like they feel useless and very small for these 2 minutes every morning and evening, doing nothing but staring at you while their mouth is wide open. They need to stop it!
    3. Like the big brother or sister. Yes, they check everything their big brothers and sisters do. Thus, if they don’t brush their teeth at all, they'll do the same. If they brush teeth by themselves: they want too.
    4. Your child was a Fussy baby. Was she? Was he? Some causes of fussiness in babies include diaper rash, thrush, food sensitivities and many more. Brushing teeth is a very intrusive activity, and it is possible that it causes these children discomfort and they express it now by not allowing you to brush their teeth.
    5. A child with sensory issues. Is your child oversensitive to sights, sounds, textures, flavors or smells? If so, it's a very strong reason not to allow you to do it. Extra care is needed to brush their teeth. You will find another blog entry discussing this issue.
    6. A stubborn child. They are challenging children - if you have one, you know it. When you force kids into something, they tend to rebel and do everything they should not. 
    7. The Hyperactive child. You recognize these children easily since they never stop. They are moving all the time, They are jumping, running, even watching TV they need - really need -  to move. Asking them to stand for 2 minutes is like asking you to stop breathing. You really need a strategy to make brushing teeth to this child a reality.


    Have you found your child to be at least in one of these descriptions? If so, you now understand what motivates your kid's attitude and why it has been so hard until now. Is not you to blame. Is not their fault also. 
    And the good news? Yes, there is good news: I am happy to tell you that "Tooth Time is Party Time!" will be a great help for you both. 

    The Beautiful Autistic Way

    The Beautiful Autistic Way


    If there is something beautiful in life for a parent, is finding ways to their children's world.  Not only the joy of "seeing" your child's insights but mostly when you can find the path to these insights and you are able to help your child to flourish and enjoy.  When this happens, naturally you want to share this feeling, share this path and your insights as well.

    This is what happened when parents having children on the autistic spectrum started to brush their kid's teeth at home with "Tooth Time is Party time!". 
    These are some of their insights and I am very glad to share them with you!  

    • Brushing teeth is very intrusive. My child had no words to tell me how difficult the experience had been but he showed very clearly that it won't happen. I gave up brushing his teeth the way I tried until then and started to have quality time playing "Tooth Time is Party Time!". We made this routine as suggested, 2 minutes playing while I recited the rhyme every morning and every evening.  For 2 long weeks we only played, laughed and had a good time. Sometimes he allowed me to look for his crafty teeth inside and I didn’t cheat! I only played without trying to brush at all. The second step I asked to play the song on my teeth, he loved it. Then it finally started!  He felt comfortable with the routine and he knew the song all along. I bought the Party t-shirt and showed it to him. He knew that once he decided to let me brush until I get to recite teeth One and Two he will get the tee I bought. We had the routine for a few weeks, he felt comfortable, he trusted me during these 2 minutes, enjoyed with me and now also had a goal, to get the t-shirt! And yes, we are making it a routine morning and evening, with joy and he is very proud of telling everyone that he has a party daily. We are already brushing teeth for 2 minutes every time.

    • In our experience what helped most using "Tooth Time is Party time!" rhyme for me was the parents' guide and the fixed routine for her. My daughter has very high sensory disorders and the rhyme time helps her to focus on the story and rhyme that she adores instead of focusing on her teeth. She still has her sensory disorders but for these 2 minutes "Tooth Time is Party time!" helps her to diminish what happens while I am brushing her teeth and she focuses on the words, she focuses on saying the last word that rhymes for each tooth, or claps and dance when needed in the party. 

    Until when?

    Until when?

    Many times, parents that are using "Tooth Time is Party Time!" asked me this question: until when should I keep brushing my child's teeth? The short answer is, that it is slightly different between one child and the other. And the long answer is the following:

    Leaving educational, child psychology, or maturity reasons aside, there is a very important factor that helps us - as parents - understand how and why we know until what age an adult should brush their child’s teeth. Brushing teeth requires a motor skill that children gain little by little and don’t completely develop until they’re about 6 years old.

    How can we, as parents, know what our child’s motor skill level is? Very simple. Look at his and her drawings! When children start to draw, we know that they scribble. The first shapes they’re able to draw with a solid line are lines, circles and ovals. Why is that? Because when they hold a pencil at the beginning, they can’t turn their hand in every direction yet (right, left, up, and down). Their wrist stays rigid, and they move their whole arm to draw, which is why they’re able to make this circular movement. Brushing teeth is like drawing, or even harder. The next time you brush your teeth, pay attention to what you’re doing. Look at how you move your wrist in all 4 directions and rotate your hand, putting it at almost 90 degrees with respect to your forearm to brush certain teeth.

    Look at the difficulty with which children write their names at 4 or 5 years old. Writing requires similar motor skills to making an “s,” an “a,” or an “h.” In the beginning, their letters are large, and their stroke is unsteady but, gradually over time, the letters become rounder, smaller, and you’ll start to notice the line become steadier. This is why they don’t start first grade until they’re 6 years old.

    So, until they’re 6, most children won’t have the necessary motor skills for a good brushing. It looks like they’re brushing all their teeth, but they’re only really brushing some (their front teeth), and they’re not doing it well.
    As you see the improvement in their writing, you can set with them who will start the first half or quarter and who will finish it. Then you to let them brush partially by themselves while reciting and having fun for the two minutes long.  

    Changing diapers

    Changing diapers

    I suggest focusing on children’s dental cleaning differently from the way you are used to. How have you handled it up until now? Have you had good results? If not, this one is for you.

    Sometimes we think that just showing them what they should do from time to time is enough, or we think that standing beside them for the first few weeks they brush their teeth is enough for them to keep going on their own. But in the end, almost all of us discover that this isn’t true.

    I suggest looking at this activity as if it were something else you’re an expert at, like changing diapers! Adults always do this, children never do, (it doesn’t matter how many times a day), and it doesn’t ever occur to us to say, “I’ve already been changing their diapers for a year, now they can do it alone.” We know that they can’t do it alone and that we should be the ones responsible for this.

    We should recognize that for them to create and learn the habit of brushing their teeth, 2 times a day and for 2 minutes, just showing or teaching them for a short time isn’t enough. It’s not enough to put a song on for them. We must do it ourselves in the beginning and then it’s our responsibility for a few years after that. We should be present, next to them. Present in creating the habit. Don’t expect them to brush their teeth alone like responsible adults. They’re not. They’re children, and they’d go to the end of the world with us just to have fun. This is why they’ll do it: to do something fun with us. It’s their main motivation and one of our most effective secret weapons!

    I had a dream!

    I had a dream!

    After months of defeat and fights about brushing teeth, I had a dream. And in my dream, my son asked me to brush his teeth. At this time, he was struggling and fighting for his right not to do it. A tantrum one day and a shut mouth the next. Or he only brushed his front teeth for 15 seconds and nothing more. All unacceptable options, but they were our reality.

    Until one day I started “Tooth Time is Party Time!” For weeks we celebrated and laughed, and then one day I brushed his teeth for longer until I managed to do it for 2 minutes without problems.

    A few months after having started this method that changed everything, we went to a family party one night. That night we got back late, and my 4-year-old son fell asleep as soon as he got in the family car. He slept the whole way home, which was about an hour. When we arrived, I carried him inside because he was asleep and brought him to his room. He was sprawled across the bed and asleep while I changed him into his pyjamas. When I was about to tuck him in, he opened one of his little eyes and said to me, half asleep, “Mommy, we didn’t brush our teeth.” I told him, “It’s okay, go back to sleep.” And he closed his eyes and kept sleeping.

    What about you? Have you had a dream?