It's probably not a big surprise that when your little one hits those "terrible twos" or "three-nage" years, they begin to throw tantrums related to brushing. It can be a bit of a struggle to get toddlers to understand they can't bite the toothbrush or swallow the tooth paste.
However, it's more important to get them to understand this routine and be happy about doing it. Everything else will fall into place.
How To Get Your Toddler To Brush Their Teeth
Getting into good habits early on is important. You should encourage your toddler to follow your own routine so they know it's a natural part of their day as well as yours. It's comforting and fun for your little one to watch you brush your teeth too. Although this is a good start to getting your toddler to understand about tooth brushing, they might not always be on board. If that's the case, you can follow some of these tips to help get them excited.
How To Get Your Toddler Excited To Brush Their Teeth
Let Your Toddler Pick Out Supplies
Bring your toddler to the store to pick out their "big kids" tooth brush. Let them see all the colorful options, favorite characters and cartoons. This will get them excited to use their toothbrush. You could also buy two, use one for morning and a different one at night. Double the fun! Choosing an age appropriate toothpaste will also help them to feel like they are apart of making this decision. We all know things run smoothly if the toddler thinks it's their idea!
Take Turns Brushing
It's a good idea for you to help your toddler brush their teeth so you know it's getting done properly (or as close to it as possible). Sometimes it's a good idea to let your toddler brush their teeth first and then let mom or dad finish the job. You could also allow your child to brush their own teeth in the morning, and have mom or dad do the evening brushing. Although their technique isn't going to be as sufficient as it should, it's better to have them get excited to get into these good habits.
Make It A Game
Toddlers like games. Making the tooth brushing routine fun and exciting will help encourage them to keep at it. If you're toddler is reluctant to brush their teeth, have them get involved in the entire process. Show them where the toothpaste is, ask them to put the tooth past on their brush, being involved will make them feel in control.
There are also other kinds of gadgets you can get to make it more enjoyable for them. A spin brush is a great way for toddlers to brush their own teeth without having to worry to much about their technique. Some even play music!
Toothsavers Brushing Game
Featuring a fun and colorful design, this free mobile game inspires kids to brush their teeth for two minutes twice a day, and calls on kids to be heroes. In a timed brushing game, they can save ten characters in a fairy tale kingdom from an evil, cavity-creating sorceress.
Tooth Talk TV
This app features fun dental education for kids. In Welcome to The Adventures of Dent Strong, Baby Tooth hosts Tooth Talk TV to introduce children to the importance of oral health and hygiene. He's passionate about keeping teeth healthy and clean.
Two Minutes Twice a Day
This collection of resources for moms and dads to help teach children proper brushing includes a library of fun two-minute videos. "Watch and brush" videos keep your kids brushing teeth for two whole minutes twice a day.
Protecting Your Child's Teeth
It might take some time for your toddler to get on board with brushing their teeth. Just remember it's like every other milestone you've had to tackle, potty training, sleeping through the night, all of these things take time. You'll get there.
In the mean time it's a good idea to make sure you can protect your child's teeth as best as you can. Try to limit sugary drinks and snacks. If your child really likes juice, try to make it a special treat and not something they get with every meal. You could also water down their juice pouring half juice, half water.
Try to limit snacks sugary throughout the day and before bedtime. Giving them more fruits and veggies will help make them feel better and strengthen their teeth.
Be sure to cut out snacks and juice or milk before bedtime. Once your child brushes their teeth, limit them to just water so they don't go to bed with sugar and bacteria in their mouth.
Patience is key! Good luck, parents.