Your child’s oral health is extremely important for their overall well-being, and getting them to like brushing their teeth is a big accomplishment!
Convincing your toddler to sit still and keep his mouth open while you thoroughly brush his teeth twice a day may seem close to an impossible mission.
No matter how restless your toddler gets when it comes to oral hygiene, it shouldn’t be compromised, even if baby teeth are only there for a few years. Children need good oral
- Baby teeth will help the permanent ones align properly;
- Taking care of their teeth at an early age will teach them good oral hygiene habits;
- Brushing their teeth regularly prevents a long list of oral diseases.
You may already know the theory too well, but no guide is telling you how to tackle this mission day after day. We have a few tips that our St. Louis pediatrician dentist recommends for making brushing your toddler’s teeth fun. You may have to test and see which one works best for your little one, but their pearly whites will definitely thank you for it later.
The Power of Example
You already know how good your toddler is at imitating your actions and behavior. Use this natural imitating mechanism to teach them how to brush their teeth and get them used to it daily. Have your toddler with you in the bathroom when you brush your teeth. You can put them in their high chair, have them on the sink or countertop or place them comfortably on your lap, it’s up to you. Make sure you make brushing look exciting and fun.
Let Them Make Decisions About It
Toddlers love to try doing things themselves, even if it’s sometimes painstakingly slow or clumsy. You should be proud and encourage their initiatives, especially when it comes to good habits. They learn best by experimenting on their own. Let them pick their toothbrush, water cup and toothpaste (from a variety of child-friendly ones, of course) and let them practice brushing before you clean them yourself.
Use Their Favorite Toys
Does their favorite teddy bear or toy dinosaur join you when you’re brushing your teeth? They should, because everybody needs to clean their teeth. Consider letting your toddler “brush” their toys’ teeth and praise them for a job well done. If you have pets, cleaning their teeth is a great way of involving your child in the process and get them to like it more.
Find Books and Songs About It
Learning with the help of children’s books is a great option we have nowadays, as there is a book for just about any type of situation parents may find themselves into. Find a fun book with appealing images about brushing your teeth and read it regularly with your toddler. If you enjoy music together, you can sing a fitting song at cleaning time.
Making brushing your teeth fun might not work at first, as toddlers can be extremely fussy about being held or forced to do something, but it is worth insisting and changing the strategy if the present one doesn’t work. Your child’s oral health is extremely important for their overall well-being, and getting them to like brushing their teeth is a big accomplishment! Don’t give up!