10 Signs Your Child Faked Brushing Their Teeth

Teaching your children good oral hygiene habits is a very important and sometimes very difficult part of being a parent. Many children will go to great lengths to avoid brushing their teeth for one reason or another. If you’re wondering if your child really brushed his teeth, here are ten signs that they’re faking a clean mouth.

  1. A Dry Toothbrush – While kids can be pretty crafty, smaller ones usually haven’t mastered the skill of subterfuge to the point of remembering to wet their toothbrush before claiming to have used it. One of the first signs that they’re faking is a toothbrush that obviously hasn’t been used.
  2. Conspicuously Absent Toothpaste Smears in the Sink – Even the most fastidious kids tend to leave toothpaste drying into a crust on the surface of the counter and in the bowl of the sink. A sparkling basin might indicate that it hasn’t been used for brushing teeth.
  3. A Clean Mirror – Kids also tend to spatter the mirror with tiny speckles of toothpaste; finding a mirror that is devoid of water spots and toothpaste splashes is fairly rare after little ones clean their teeth.
  4. They Were Absorbed in Their Own Activities When the Order Came In – Walking away from an interesting activity to do something as dull as brushing teeth can be difficult for most kids. If they were enraptured by the television or a favorite toy when you asked them to brush their teeth, there’s a decent chance that they forgot and are faking to avoid punishment.
  5. Your Bathroom is Still Orderly – Small kids will leave step-stools, towels, the cap of the toothpaste and a coating of water all over the bathroom after brushing their teeth. If everything is in its place and dry, they probably haven’t been inside.
  6. There Was No Sound of Running Water – The sound of running water is unmistakable, and kids won’t often go to the trouble of turning on the faucet to get out of brushing their teeth. If they’re faking, chances are they never even walked into the bathroom.
  7. Teeth Are Visibly Stained – Brightly colored juices and treats can leave a discernible tint on the surface of teeth, but it’s almost always removed by even a cursory swipe with a toothbrush. Pink teeth after a glass of fruit punch is a sure sign that the nightly tooth brushing was skipped.
  8. Their Breath is Less Than Fresh – Though kids’ toothpaste doesn’t typically have the minty scent of its adult counterpart, it still smells different from an unbrushed mouth. One whiff is usually enough to clue parents in to a kid who’s faking.
  9. You Can Still See Dinner in Their Teeth – Food particles clinging to or wedged between teeth are another dead giveaway that Junior is faking; examining your child’s mouth will tell you all you need to know about their brushing habits.
  10. The Dentist Discovers Signs of Decay – Though decay can be the result of several different factors, your dentist can also tell you if your child’s mouth has been obviously neglected. In order for teeth to be significantly affected, kids have to skip more often than not; if your dentist notices, you might have to get serious about checking on kids’ habits.

Some parents adopt a lackadaisical approach to oral hygiene in the earliest years of their child’s life, believing that baby teeth aren’t of vital importance. These are the years, however, when habits are formed and it can be difficult to get kids into the habit of brushing after years of sporadic cleaning.

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