Teaching your toddler to do anything at all can be stressful, but even more so when it comes to brushing. Unlike other activities, brushing requires your child to do things on their own when they may or may not be ready for such a responsibility. That’s why we’ve put together this helpful guide for getting started on the right track!
Set up a Routine for Brushing Your Toddler’s Teeth
Like anything else, when it comes to raising children, it is extremely important to establish things as a routine. Bedtime, meals, etc. Everything revolves around regular practice, and it’s the most important way to ensure that your little one knows what is going on. That’s why brushing should happen at the same time every day. We recommend after breakfast and before bedtime, so that your child knows exactly what to expect. An ADA approved soft bristle toothbrush should be easy to find.
For working parents, having a steady routine can be somewhat of a challenge, but thankfully it can still be done. Establishing when to brush teeth is one of the most important aspects of their oral hygiene. Studies have also shown that parents implementing this early on makes your child more likely to have less issues with their teeth throughout their childhood and adulthood!
Model Brushing for your Toddler
It’s important to remember that your child is always watching you. As the most important person in their life, they are going to see what it is you are doing and imitate it the best they can. For children who are absolutely against brushing, it is highly recommended that you brush at the same time as them. When they see you do it, they are more likely to attempt it themselves. You can also demonstrate for them so that they know how to use the toothbrush properly, getting the back teeth, tongue, etc.
This is especially recommended for children that will not let their parents brush for them. Always give them the chance to do it first. If they miss a spot, you can say “my turn” and get the rest. Once they know their options, you should see an improvement in their brushing.
Use Cues & Make it Fun!
You might be thinking, how am I supposed to make brushing teeth fun? Look at what we do at our office though! We make it more enjoyable for kids so that they build positive habits right away. But how can you do that at home? A lot of the work is already done for you.
Visual and auditory cues are very helpful for young children. There is an endless supply of videos on YouTube featuring popular characters demonstrating how to brush properly, usually with music playing to make it more enjoyable for everyone! The best part is that many of these videos are timed to allow an appropriate amount of time for brushing. If you can make brushing teeth seem like less of a chore, your child will respond much more pleasantly to the idea.
If you have a toddler who is against brushing and you’re not sure what to do, contact our office and schedule an appointment today. We are always ready to help and love to see your child’s smile shining bright!