If you have a toddler, you probably know a few things to be true including toddlers hate to have their teeth brushed. No matter what stories we tell them about cavities, having someone else put something inside of their mouth and move it around is unwelcome. Holding your little one down to brush their teeth twice a day may seem like the only option left, but it’s guaranteed to make them hate brushing even more.
Skip the traumatizing tactics and instill excellent brushing habits from the beginning with these toddler teeth brushing tips that actually work.
Make Brushing Teeth Just Part of the Routine
Baby teeth need proper care, even if they do fall out eventually. These tiny-teeth are vital for function, aesthetics, and for guiding the permanent teeth into the appropriate positions. Turn tooth brushing time into a happy time by making it part of the daily routine. No child wants to stop playing to go brush their teeth, so encourage brushing times while your child is in a calm and relaxed mood.
Skip the Toothpaste
Many dentists agree that skipping toothpaste at a young age is fine, and since most kids dislike the taste, you might even experiment to see if that makes them more open to brushing. Another great option is to buy child-friendly toothpaste in fun flavors that are more appealing to children.
Kids love to play games, so why not make brushing teeth a game too? Line up all of the stuffed animals and dolls in the house and brush each of their teeth. Not only will this help to make brushing more fun, but it will also help to teach them the proper brushing motion.
Sing to Increase the Fun
Singing increases the fun level and reinforces the routine. Even more important, a song can assure the child that the brushing is time-limited because they know that they can stop brushing when the song ends. Tap into your creative side and make up a song of your own.
Keep it VERY short
One of the main reasons why establishing good brushing habits early on in life is so vital is to get your child used to the idea of brushing. Don’t start out demanding a full two minutes of brushing from your toddler. Keep things very short and lengthen the amount of brushing time with songs and timers as time goes on.
Monkey See, Monkey Do
Most kids enjoy learning by copying motions and actions they see. Brush together in the mirror so they can watch how you brush your teeth and mimic you. Brushing as a family is also a great time to monitor any older kids brushing techniques too.
Use Tools of Distraction
A second toothbrush that your toddler can hold (or even one in each hand) while you brush their teeth is a great way to keep the hands and mind occupied while you focus on the task of brushing. Many parents say that letting the child brush your teeth while you brush theirs is a useful trick to keeping them engaged.
Help Finish Brushing
Most toddlers aren’t able to do a thorough job of brushing so you may want to help in finishing the job. This is often the tricky part because most kids dislike having someone take over anything for them. Limit this time by using a song, counting, or making a game of it.
Has your toddler had their first dental checkup and cleaning yet? Call Hinsdale Dentistry today to schedule their first cleaning and exam to see how your home care is measuring up.