Getting small children to brush their teeth might seem impossible, especially if your little ones hate having their teeth brushed. And we understand how frustrating it can be when toddlers doesn’t want to cooperate.
But don’t give up on brushing your toddler’s teeth just yet. In this post, we’ll give you a few tips on how to make brushing time fun and how to make sure your child brushes his teeth.
1. Make sure she sees your brushing your teeth
Most toddlers love to emulate their parents. They want to help with the shopping, they want to help with the cooking, and they even like to pretend to talk on the phone like adults. The same goes for brushing. So if your toddler sees you brushing your own teeth, then she’ll be much more interested in brushing her own. Go forth and set a good example!
2. Play copycat
Try standing in front of a mirror with your toddler while you brush your teeth and he brushes his. He’ll be able to see you brushing in the mirror so with some luck, he’ll copy your actions.
3. Lower your expectations
Most toddlers are still too young to brush their teeth thoroughly, but this is normal. The idea at this age is to instil the habit of brushing into your child and not to make your child an expert at brushing her teeth right away. So don’t expect too much to begin with.
4. Keep it short
Since your toddler won’t be able to brush his teeth properly to begin with, you’ll have to help by brushing his teeth as well. However, this is always tricky because children don’t like having things put into their mouths. But always make sure to keep brushing fun so that your child associates brushing with positive feelings. You can do this by keeping the amount of time you’re brushing your child’s teeth to a minimum. Remember, all you’re doing when you brush your child’s teeth for them is doing a quick swipe over all the teeth. Later, when your child feels more comfortable, you can extend the amount of time that you brush your child’s teeth.
5. Keep it fun
Make brushing into a fun activity by incorporating games. For example, you can pretend that she’s a lion and that she has to roar so you can reach all her teeth. Another fun activity for children is songs. You can turn any song into a toothbrush themed one by changing the words – The Wheels on the Bus becomes “the toothbrush in the mouth goes round and round” for example.
6. Give plenty of encouragement
Make sure to tell your child what a good job he did brushing his teeth, even if all he did was chew on the toothbrush. All children like praise and over time, he’ll get better at brushing – all it takes is encouragement and practice.
7. Read books with your child about brushing teeth
Books can be a great help to encourage your child to brush her teeth. There are lots of books out there featuring children brushing their teeth, and when kids read them, it can make brushing seem like a fun activity rather than a chore.
Another option is to watch a YouTube video together of toddlers brushing their teeth. Some parents even find that videos are more motivating for their children than books.
Teaching your child to brush his teeth doesn’t have to be a monumental task. By taking it slow and being patient, you can eventually get your child to brush his own teeth.