Dental Health Topics

Is Your Child Really Brushing? How to Tell if They're Faking.

Is Your Child Really Brushing? How To Tell If They're Faking.

Do you have a faker in the house?

If you're past the toddler stage of teeth-cleaning 101, and are now at the point where your child is dutifully following a routine and brushing twice a day on their own, congratulations!

So what's next?

Well, you might be surprised to learn that as dutiful as your child might 
seem to be at brushing their teeth, there is a chance they might just pretending to brush!

And, frankly speaking, you may have even snuck to bed without brushing a few times yourself. So, what sort of things might your child be doing to fake you out, and how can you ensure this good habit doesn't fall by the wayside?

What Sort of Trickery They Might Employ

  • Using only their finger to brush, and then wetting their toothbrush as evidence that they've brushed. Some of the real smarty-pants in the bunch might put toothpaste on the brush and then wash it off, so the brush smells all minty if you're checking. Smart, huh!?
  • Turning the sink on and running the toothbrush underneath it to make it sound like they're brushing.
  • If using an electric toothbrush with a timer, they might just wet the toothbrush and run it for the allotted time. It's easy to trick mom and dad when the little smiley-face on the tooth brush says they did such a great job!
  • Brushing, but without toothpaste. Sometimes kids just can't stand the taste or texture of toothpaste, and this is a way to get around that.

Why Do They Do It?

Usually, fake brushing isn't an everyday occurrence. Sometimes moments of pure laziness or tiredness can result in a child acting up. They're also doing what kids do, which is testing boundaries. 

What Sort of Solutions Are There?

  • Keep the bathroom door open. Faking is a lot easier when the door is closed. This simple tip alone can keep them brushing, and limit boundary tests.
  • Have them brush just after dinner to set a routine, and so they've brushed long before their tired. This also helps to eliminate late-night snacking as well. Or, if they get a snack before bed, have them brush immediately afterward.
  • If they're still young enough, have your kids sing while brushing their teeth. It's impossible to hide the fact that one isn't brushing when singing at the same time. Even finger brushing stands no chance!
  • Brush at the same time your kids brush. Sure, this may be an inconvenience, but a family brushing together is a good thing. Kids love to mirror habits, and this doesn't stop once they're no longer a toddler.