Has Brushing Teeth Turned Into a Battle with Your Toddler?

Has brushing teeth turned into a battle with your child? Do you endure wiggling, whining, crying, or screaming every time you brush his/her teeth? Ever feel like you aren’t able to thoroughly brush every tooth because of your child’s resistance? If you answered “yes”, you’re not alone!

Properly caring for toddler teeth is extremely important, but it’s also nearly impossible to brush properly with an uncooperative tot! Here are some tips to make toothbrushing time less of a fight so you can really focus on cleaning every tooth!

Making Brushing Teeth Less of a Chore:

Keeping your child’s teeth clean is an important job! These tips and tricks should also make it an easier job:

Fun Toothbrush: Let your child pick out his/her own special toddler toothbrush. Let your little one know how special the toothbrush is!

Talk about What the Toothbrush is Doing: Some children think of the toothbrush as that annoying thing mom or dad wiggle around in their mouth twice a day. No wonder they fight when it’s tooth-brushing time! While you brush, kindly remind your child why you brush in the first place! Ex: “We’ve got to get your teeth cleaned, let’s brush to get off the cereal and juice you had this morning for breakfast. Wow, this toothbrush is really cleaning your teeth well!”

Sing a Song: Choose a favorite song to sing while your child gets his/her teeth brushed. It can be a tooth-brushing song, or another well-liked song to keep your toddler’s mind off of the task at hand! You can even take a favorite song and change the words to make it about tooth brushing.

Give your Little One a Toothbrush Too: Toddlers want to be in on the action too! Let your toddler hold a toothbrush and chew it or brush with it before you take the other one and do a thorough job. This way you don’t end up playing tug-of-war over the toothbrush!

Let Your Child Watch You: Kids love to imitate! Let your child watch you while you brush your teeth. Talk about how much you love to get every tooth clean, how much you love your toothbrush, and how you want to brush at least twice every day!

Teeth-brushing in the Bathtub: Some toddlers respond better to teeth-brushing if they are in a relaxed environment, like the bathtub. Only do this if your tot isn’t prone to wiggling while getting teeth brushed, of course!

Call it Something More Fun: Sometimes parenting is all about marketing. Put a fun spin on teeth brushing by calling it something more interesting. You can call it “Tickling Every Tooth”, having a “Toothbrush Race”, “Giving Your Teeth a Bath”, “Counting Teeth”, “Getting Your Teeth Ready for Bed/the Day”, “Brushing the Dirties Away”, etc.

“Is there a Monkey in There?”: While brushing your child’s teeth pretend to hear sounds coming from his/her mouth. After hearing the sounds, brush a little more, then pretend to hear another animal sound. Young children love being silly and sometimes a game like this is all it takes to make tooth brushing time more fun!

Recap the Morning/Evening Events: It’s all about distraction. As soon as you start brushing, start talking about everything that has happened that morning or evening. Talk about simple little details. Your tot will begin to focus on remembering with you, rather than fighting the toothbrush.

Sticker Chart: Your toddler may never learn to love oral hygiene, but your tot probably already loves stickers! Use this to your advantage and make up a special chart for him/her to add stickers to after each morning and evening tooth brushing session.

With these tips you may soon find that your toddler fights getting his/her teeth brushed less, meaning you can do a better job ensuring each little tooth is properly cared for!


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