Make Cleaning your Toddler's Teeth Fun with FOREO

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Cleaning Arthur's teeth has always been a bit of a battle and I'm not quite sure who dreads it more, me or him! You see, even though I followed the guidelines and gently introduced a toothbrush as soon as his first tooth appeared, it's always been something he's hated doing. We've had tantrums galore, I've told him his teeth will fall out (c'mon we've all said things like this to our kids at some point) and there's even been a handful of times where I've given in and settled for the quickest of brushes. But as a parent, wanting to ensure her child has good dental hygiene and a healthy smile, I've battled on and although I don't want to speak too soon, I think we've finally done it!

Over the last couple of years, I've tried everything to get him to like brushing his teeth, from standing him in front of a mirror and pulling funny faces, to singing silly songs. I've even let him have a go at brushing my teeth a few times and consequently had a toothbrush jammed into my gums more times than I wish to think about. But it's only recently he's been more willing to clean his teeth properly (without a meltdown) and I think that's partially down to him being a little older but also because he now owns a super cool toothbrush!

Introducing the FOREO ISSA mikro

If you're into your beauty products, it's likely you've come across FOREO before. They're well-known for the best-selling 'Luna' facial cleansing brush and many other hi-tech skincare products but do you know, they also design toothbrushes? Even ones for little people like the ISSA mikro!

The ISSA mikro is an electric toothbrush, designed for children age 0-5 years. It is the only toothbrush on the market that is made from medical-grade silicone and uses gentle sonic pulsations to clean children's teeth, both safely and effectively. The toothbrush has two modes, a brush mode for cleaning and a massage mode, great for soothing the gums when your little one is teething.

Unlike your average toothbrush, the ISSA mikro has flexible silicone bristles that clean your little one's teeth in a non-abrasive way, keeping both the enamel and gum tissue intact. FOREO also says that the non-drying, non-porous silicone bristles are much more hygienic and carry up to 10,000 times less bacteria than toothbrushes with nylon bristles.

The thing that surprised me most about the ISSA mikro is that the head was completely attached. How was I going to change it? After a quick read on the FOREO website, I found out that the brush does not need replacing, as it's designed to last your child up until the age of five and comes with a 10 year quality guarantee. Arthur has been using the toothbrush for just over a month so far and I'm pleased to say it looks as good as new - the same of which couldn't be said for cheaper toothbrushes we've used in the past! I'm really interested to see if the ISSA mikro does stand the test of time. At £79 it's not cheap but if it lasts as long as FOREO claims, it'll be exceptionally good value for money.

Mr Frown and Mr Smile

The Foreo ISSA mikro comes in five bright colours (Sunflower Yellow, Bubble Blue, Pearl Pink, Fuchsia and Kiwi) making it very appealing to children. But it's best feature for kids, in my opinion, is the Smile Helpers.

The ISSA mikro will show a sad face if your little one has not used their toothbrush for over twelve hours. We've called him 'Mr Frown' and it's Arthur's mission to make him happy again. Once your little one has brushed their teeth for the recommended two minutes, 'Mr Smile' as we like to call him, appears and we have both a happy Arthur and happy Mummy. Two minutes can seem like a lifetime of brushing for a child but I feel like this really helps to make it fun. It turns it into a challenge for the child and as a parent, you can be satisfied that you're brushing your child's teeth long enough.

Charging the ISSA mikro

The ISSA mikro comes with a USB charging cable but not a plug. This wasn't a problem for me, as we have plenty in the house but it's something to consider before purchasing, if you don't have one spare. A one hour charge will give you up to 480 uses of the ISSA mikro, which is pretty incredible, especially compared to my own electric toothbrush from another brand, which needs recharging nearly every day!

Tips for cleaning your toddler's teeth

1. Use gentle, circular brushing motions
Although it's important to brush teeth regularly and properly, it's worth bearing in mind that there is such thing as brushing too aggressively. If you brush your teeth or your child's teeth vigorously, it may cause damage to the enamel. This is why dentists suggest you brush using a gentle circular motion, which cleans both the teeth and gums.

2. Take great care cleaning the molars
A new dental survey from FOREO revealed that 55% of 3-5 year olds already have a filling, which really shocked me. I'm 28 and although my teeth are far from perfect, I've not yet had a filling and want to do my best to make sure Arthur avoids them as long as possible too. According to Harley Street Dentist and FOREO ambassador Dr Mark Hughes 'a good portion of time should be spent on the back molars, as this is an area where cavities often develop.'

3. Let them have a go and do a 'check up clean' yourself afterwards
There's nothing wrong with letting your children have a go at cleaning their own teeth, when they show interest. In fact, it's the only way they'll learn! Of course, they may not do it to your standards for a good while, so you'll need to do what I call a 'check up clean' afterwards. That way you can have the peace of mind that your child's teeth have been cleaned properly but you haven't stopped them showing a little independence either!

Although I've only been using the FOREO ISSA mikro on Arthur's teeth for a month and therefore can't give a definitive long-term recommendation, what I can say is that it has made the teeth cleaning process a lot more attractive and fun to him as a three year old. Challenging him to get 'Mr Smile' seems to have stopped most teeth-cleaning-related-tantrums and the brush seems to be working effectively but please keep in mind I'm speaking as a parent and not a dental expert! I think the brush itself is a great concept and whilst pricey, you may find it's justified by the more positive teeth cleaning experience it offers both you and your child, plus the longevity in design it claims to offer.

Have you got any tips for making cleaning your toddler's teeth fun? Comment below to share!

Meg x
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