It's essential for children to start brushing their teeth when they are young. Today, our Lethbridge dentists share some tips and advice on how you can get a toddler to brush their teeth.
Sometimes children might enjoy brushing their teeth, but often they can put up a fight. However, it's imperative for your child to brush their teeth at least two times a day. Until your child reaches eight years of age they won't have the proper dexterity to do a good enough job brushing their teeth on their own.
Always remember that it has to be done, it doesn't matter if your child is looking forward to it or not. You would never allow your child to sit in a soiled diaper just because they don't want their diaper changed, so you shouldn't allow food or plaque to sit on your kid’s teeth just because they don't want them to be brushed.
There are times when it can be a fight, so try to make it fun. Like most things, routine is key.
Tips To Get Your Child Excited About Brushing
- Purchase toothbrushes specifically designed to entertain children. Some connect via Bluetooth and kids can follow along on your phone while they brush.
- How you ask can allow them to feel some independence. You might ask “Which toothbrush would you like to use?” instead of “Are you ready to brush your teeth?” or “Do you want to brush your teeth?” They'll feel involved in the decision and be more likely to cooperate.
- Ask your child to look in the mirror with their mouth open and pretend to see "sugar bugs", then proceed to brush.
- Let your toddler or child hold your toothbrush and brush your teeth while you hold their brush to brush their teeth. Usually, this is a fun way that they enjoy brushing.
- Using a (separate) toothbrush, brush the teeth of each of your child’s favorite toys after you brush your own. Talk about how important it is that their toy takes care of their teeth. When most toddlers see how much their toys love having their teeth brushed, they will want theirs done as well.
- If your toddler is challenging, offer them small rewards after brushing – like stickers, reading a favorite book, or holding a special toy.
If your toddler isn’t impressed with any of these methods, try using a piece of gauze to rub on their teeth. There are some pre-formed gauze pieces just for this purpose. If your dentist recommends using fluoride toothpaste once a day, just a dab is all that is necessary.