13 May 2015

This is the way we brush our teeth – Six toothpastes in one review

With a spunky toddler like mine, brushing teeth is another battle we have to face three times a day.

I became very diligent with having his teeth brushed properly when his first tooth stain happened last December. Holiday season means a longer commute home so I normally got home around 10pm. Since I leave for work at 6:30am, I hardly got to see Riley last December. I trusted his caretaker to at least brush his teeth once a day. After two weeks of  this set-up, I noticed that the middle of his front teeth has started darkening! When I asked his caretaker how often his teeth got brushed, she said that she can only brush Riley's teeth when I am around. That means only during the weekend! I was so pissed!

I tried to rectify the situation by brushing his teeth in the morning before I left for work. My husband will supervise his teeth brushing during noon. And I will diligently brush his teeth again at night. Sounds like a good (military) plan, am I right? Now, if only Riley will cooperate.

Brushing away those cavities with the Pigeon toothbrush

He will only let us brush his teeth if he is occupied with a mobile phone. He will either play with the camera or play with the dozens of games I have downloaded for him. If we do not have that, we had to hold him tight and brush his teeth while he is screaming bloody murder!

After visiting a Pediatric Dentist (located in SM Southmall), we were told that using a fluoridated toothpaste is better (in small amounts though!).

Below are some of the toothpaste that Riley has used in his oral care journey. To be fair to him, I actually try them out before giving it to him so that I can relate if it is as yucky as he said.

This is the most used toothpaste as you can tell. Price: Php100+

First one is the Colgate Maximum Cavity Protection with Sugar Acid Neutralizer (that was a mouthful). I like this one because the minty taste was not overwhelming, does not get too foamy, and the sugar acid neutralizer supposedly helps in fighting cavities. It contains 1450 ppm (part per million) fluoride. Technically, this is not a recommended toothpaste for children younger than two years old because of the high fluoride content. Since they cannot properly spit out the toothpaste, it stays in their mouth longer and this leads to enamel fluorosis (small white spots or discolouration of the enamel). I give him a very tiny amount (a swipe on the toothpaste, smaller than the standard pea size) every time I brush his teeth. At first he said it was yucky as it does have a slightly bitter taste but after a while he got used to it. The teeth does not feel that squeaky clean after brushing though.

Elmo sold us on this one! Price: Php54

We bought this Hapee Kiddie toothpaste because Riley likes Elmo! It does not say on the packaging but after searching the web, it says it contains 1500 ppm fluoride. Taste is suppose to be strawberry but it tastes weird. Riley confirms it when he tried it and he almost vomited. It was very foamy even when I used a tiny amount. Despite the taste, it does leave your teeth squeaky clean so I still might continue using this once in a while. 

Riley's first fluoride toothpaste. Price: Php70+

This Aquafresh Milk Teeth toothpaste for 0-2 years is the one that the dentist recommended for Riley. We have consumed two tubes of this before trying out other toothpaste brands. I liked it because there was almost no taste but it was not that foamy. I somehow like foamy toothpastes. I noticed that his teeth are still stained with milk after brushing with this so I decided to try other brands to see the difference.

Bought this because of Spiderman. Price: Php41

This Colgate Spiderman toothpaste is the one I pack in Riley's diaper bag. It's small handy size means that it will not add more weight to an otherwise heavy bag. I find it similar to the Hapee Kiddie Toothpaste. It has normal foam and slight minty taste (which means it was yucky for Riley). We only use it when we are out of the house.

A fluoride-free alternative. Price: Php100+

We use this SansFluo Xylitol Swab when I don't feel like having a brushing battle with Riley. Just place some drops on clean wipes and rub on the teeth. Quick and hopefully pain-free (if he doesn't bite your finger). I don't really feel that his teeth are cleaned with this solution. As an added teeth protection, I try to brush his teeth with the normal toothpaste then follow-up with this solution. I'm thinking it will create a barrier so that the cavities will not stick so much to his teeth. We use this together with the Spiderman toothpaste. I've also tried their toothgum wipes. I find that more convenient to use since you just take it out of the packaging and wipe the teeth with it. It was more expensive though at ten wipes per Php149.

Price: Php97

Tiny Buds Tiny Fangs Tooth Gel Stage 2. I used this when he was still less than a year old. Never used it again since we started using fluoride toothpaste. I like this better than the SansFluo toothpaste because the teeth feels cleaner. You can use it with the silicon finger toothbrush or wipes. What I don't like is that it tastes slightly sweet.

In conclusion, we still use the Colgate Maximum Cavity Protection with Sugar Acid Neutralizer because I am happy with the fluoride content and Riley is used to its taste. Our back-up toothpaste is the Hapee Kiddie Toothpaste since I love the squeaky clean feeling.

What toothpaste brand do you use?

08 May 2015

How I enjoy eating in a restaurant with my toddler

When Riley was still a few months old, I thought that eating out with a baby was hard because of all the things you have to worry about when in public (germs, heat, poop explosion). What I did not expect was that it was going to be much harder to dine out with a toddler.

Ordering food at 8cuts... Looks can be deceiving 

Being a picky eater, Riley is one hard-to-please customer. He cannot stay put in his seat, wants to touch and play with everything he can get his hands on, and when he finally touches the food, he will say yuck.

At first, we picked out the restaurants where we know he can eat the items on the menu. After gaining so much weight from all the fastfood restaurants and being so stressed out from forcing him to eat, I told myself that enough is enough.

Jollibee is his happy place
Guess where? Jollibee!

Now, instead of letting him dictate where we eat, we get to choose which restaurant we will try next. It's a hit or miss. He doesn't always eat the food. We order the stuff that we think he might like or recently he will be the one looking at the menu and base his order from the pictures. Sometimes I also make a plan. If I know he will not like the food in that new Thai place, I will feed him at home before we leave so that when we are at the restaurant, I will not be forcing him to try to eat the food there. He can just taste it if he wants to and if he does not want to eat it, I will not stress myself about it and just let it go.

It works for us since we can enjoy a simple meal outside our home with the whole family. And Riley gets to try a variety of food from different places without any pressure from us. Sure he eats his rice with french fries and drinks his milkshake with a spoon. We're embracing his uniqueness (with food!) instead of fighting it.

yummy ice cream with cookie at Bono

02 May 2015

Experimenting with YouTube toy videos

Riley watches these toy review videos almost all the time now. He still watches a little bit of Disney cartoons on the side. But every time he sees the television, he will demand to watch YouTube and see the wonderful toys the kids are playing with. And it always ends with him asking to go to the mall and buy the recent toy that he has seen!

So, as an experiment, we decided to create a toy video featuring him!

It was hard to shoot as we had to make him stay seated in the same spot for more than a minute. If you have an active toddler like mine, a few seconds on the same spot is like torture! My video editing skills need a bit more work but that can easily be fixed with a little more practice.