mom hack: how we solved the toothpaste battle at our house

Here's how we solved the endless nighttime toothpaste battle among the children:


Four tubes of toothpaste = 1 per kid. And not one of those tubes belong to anyone. They have to share all of them. :)

It's been working!

In the past, either someone wouldn't share, someone wouldn't be patient, or the "kid" toothpaste was lost somewhere {where could it go? under the sink? in the dryer? stranger things have been found there!}. 

They say pick your battles, and so far I'd say buying toothpaste in bulk and using them all at the same time was a battle won. ;)

How do you do the toothpaste thing with multiple kids?

Any ideas on how to get kids to brush longer? 
I try to tell them to sing the ABC's 3x, and then they start singing out loud and spit toothpaste everywhere and laugh like it's the most hilarious thing ever. :P

25 comments

Sophie from France said...

Same here: a tube by bathroom (6 children and 3 bathrooms for them: it means a tube for 2 or 3 kids- depending bathrooms). There is no fighting to share the tube, but my problem is: how to avoid waste?? A tube for 1 week, well, we'll have to buy the toothpaste in container!

Otherwise, the only solution I've found to my kids wash their teeth properly is to supervise and / or see if their teeth are clean and send them to wash it again if necessary.
Happy to see that moms have the same difficulties on both sides of the Atlantic! :))

Christina said...

I am the oldest of 3 kids and we just had 1 family tube of toothpaste. We were always taught to put something back when we finished using it,so we always put the toothpaste back on the counter. As for getting kids to brush longer: maybe you could play them a 2 minute song and tell them to brush until it's over.

Here are some examples! https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=tooth+brushing+song

Alyssa said...

My four kids have a little dollar store basket each that hey keep in their rooms-- it has thier own toothpaste, floss, toothbrush etc. The they can carry it to either bathroom or the kitchen sink or the utility sink in the laundry room. Saves time waiting and no fighting!

April McLeod said...

My mom was always trying to cut down on the number of illnesses we all shared amongst one another, and one way she did that was to buy us each our own tube of toothpaste. We had our designated spots on the sink counter or in drawers where we would store our teeth cleaning supplies and were taught to put them right back there when we were done using them. It cut back on sharing colds big time and also kept us from losing/arguing over toothpaste tubes. :)

Avery said...

Don't they make toothpaste dispensers that stick to the wall, like for soaps and shampoos? Yes, everyone would still have to take turns, but they wouldn't lose the toothepaste!
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Crystal Baker-Hanson said...

Love this idea! I think I'll go implement that right now. Thanks for sharing!!

N/A said...

I'm going to try this!

Liesel said...

I just set a timer, but my kids are a little younger, and they still get toothpaste put on the toothbrush by me, and so I'm right there to start a timer too. I don't know what I'll do when they get more independent.

3abejas said...

We use one per kiddo as well, because I'm a bit of a germaphobe! Each girl has a small mason jar on the sink that holds her toothbrush and her toothpaste (which has her initial on the lid). No sharing germs, and no missing equipment!!

i9jadei9 said...

We have our kids use little toothbrush timers that we got from our dentist, like these:

http://www.amazon.com/Minute-Children-Toothbrush-Timer-Dental/dp/B00ATWFEZU/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1403643759&sr=8-6&keywords=toothbrush+timer

They go for 2 minutes so my kids know exactly how long they need to stay focused and brush. =)

Anonymous said...

Curious why just because they are all sharing 4 tubes at once did you give up the "kid" toothpaste? And how (pray tell) did you get your kids to transition to mint rather than some kid friendly fruity or bubble gum flavored paste?

My kids cry that the mint burns their mouths too much and I have bought so many (too many to waste ouch) adult too strong mint toothpastes that they will not use, and I now have all of them stored under my sink as backup…I will never run out of adult toothpaste! :-)

Tess

Jennifer Nelson said...

My kids are pretty good with their timers. It helps my youngest has already had an experience with the dentist's drill.

Susannah Steele said...

You can use a little sand timer from a board game.

Leah Parrill said...

Our kids got egg timers from the dentist which have worked awesome.

Angieleigh said...

Try having them sing happy birthday to each one of them! Of course it could get messy, but it'd be a lot of fun for them! I know they recommend singing happy birthday when washing your hands, so logically, with four littles brushing their teeth together, it could take as long as they need to brush!

Megan said...

Put on a song that they all love and have them brush until the end of the song!

eline said...

We have done this for years and it works great.

eline said...

We have done this for years and it works great.

Anonymous said...

Try Pepsodent for a mild mint. It is sometimes hard to find, though.

Anna said...

My kids like different kinds of toothpaste, so when available, I let them have their preference. Otherwise, I'm fine with multiple small tubes of toothpaste if it makes things go smoother.

We have some little egg timers from the dentist that help with the longer brushing time.

Jen said...

my kids all have their own drawers in the vanity (we just updated their bathroom) and this was one reason why...toothpaste issues:0) now they have their own "everything" in their drawer. funny how it is an issue for many mommies!

Debbie said...

I started by adding a tiny bit to the toothpaste they were using and adding it in little by little. Let's face it, some of that toothpaste is "hot"...

Debbie said...

Great idea. Always wise to pick the right battles. You are doing a great job and keep being real! :D

Steve Patterson said...

That is clever, but I am lucky, I have one child. But, that would be a great idea. Thanks for sharing.
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Colleen May said...

We have done this for years and it works great! I take our girls to The Dollar Tree and let them pick out the toothpaste and toothbrush of their choice (Dollar Tree actually has GREAT toothpastes and toothbrushes...our favorite toothbrushes are the Aim brand, we buy several to keep as back ups in the cabinet) then I label their toothpaste. ( I know....so OCD!) It keeps them from fighting over the tube of toothpaste and it keeps germs at bay during flu and tummy bug season. ;-)