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Trouble Getting Your Kids to Brush? Could be their Taste Buds!

Ever wonder why your kid who used to love mashed sweet potatoes now shuns them? Or why the apples once devoured are now “awful?” As a parent, it can be incredibly frustrating when your child suddenly refuses to eat a favorite food. But as inclined as we are to chalk this behavior up to “picky eating,” there may be more to this story than a persnickety palette.


It turns out that studies suggest that newborns have a powerful taste for sweetness  because of mother’s milk, but as they get older, their 10,000 or so taste buds change. By the time they approach teen years, they lose their preference for sweetness. This doesn’t mean that older kids no longer like their sweets (duh!), but that taste buds in kids are always evolving, and that there could be a real physiological reason certain foods fall in and out of favor.


The same challenge presents itself with children’s toothpaste. If you give an adult toothpaste to a young child, more often than not their face will crinkle up, and they’ll declare “Yuck!” or “Spicy!” and spit the offending paste out before any teeth have been cleaned. The product developers at Tom’s of Maine® took children’s taste-bud transitions into account when they developed their line of natural kid’s toothpastes. They knew more than one flavor was necessary to satisfy different age groups and get kids to brush better.


  • For the little ones, Tom’s of Maine created Silly Strawberry™ toothpaste. Younger taste buds respond to the natural strawberry taste, which makes the brushing routine easier for everyone. And like all Tom’s toothpastes, it has no artificial dyes, sweeteners, or flavors. Sweet!


  • As kids get older, between the ages of 8 and 12, they start to outgrow sweet fruit or bubblegum flavors but may not  be quite ready for the strong mint taste of many adult toothpastes. Tom’s of Maine’s answer to this is their unique, natural, and fun Wicked Cool!™ toothpaste. This kids toothpaste from Tom’s has a mild mint flavor that is ‘just right’ for their evolving taste buds, and comes in  “cool” packaging that will appeal to this age group.


So if you’re pulling your hair out trying to get your kid to brush, relax and try a different toothpaste flavor. It might just be that easy. And if you’re having the same struggles with picky eating, give yourself (and your child) a break, and just keep offering a healthy selection of foods. Chances are, as their taste buds continue to evolve, what was once disgusting will one day be delicious.


(Source: Tom’s of Maine®)