I hear you. Having to brush toddler’s teeth is not your type of fun.
Especially if your kid just won’t let you brush their teeth.
It seems like you have to prepare daily for the tantrums and the resistance. You are even a bit annoyed every time you have to brush your child’s teeth.
Listen. It doesn’t have to be a struggle. Let me help you.
I have a few easy, simple tips to make brushing your child’s teeth more fun and less of a chore.
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First things first.
YOU have to get excited about brushing your child’s teeth.
Sounds ridiculous. I know. But hear me out.
Kids feed off of parents energy.
You know when you child falls and then looks at you? They’re looking at you to see how to respond.
If you stay calm, usually the tears don’t last long. However, if you freak out … so does your child.
Same thing applies to brushing their teeth. If you exude excitement, the toddler tantrum brushing teeth will slowly start to go away.
Soon you’ll notice that they’re eager to go to the bathroom to brush their teeth.
Get a toothbrush with their favorite character
If your child has a favorite character this will be easy.
My son loves Thomas the Train.
If I buy anything with Thomas on it, he has to have it.
Even if it is a baby toy for his little brother. LOL.
Start by getting a toothbrush with your child’s favorite character. There are so many characters to choose from out there in the stores and online.
Here are a few of the popular ones that I see requested my office:
You can even do this with the toothpaste or training toothpaste.
You’ll be surprised what your child will do to get the toothpaste or toothbrush with their favorite character on it.
If you are worried about your little one eating the toothpaste and not really letting you do a good job brushing, you can start with a training toothpaste.
There is no fluoride and it taste great.
You should try it! Really.
Even if they just sit there and suck the toothpaste off (because it does taste good), it’s okay.
If you let your child start with the idea that this taste good, it’s easier to do more later.
Always try to go behind your child with either a toothbrush or even a wet wash cloth.
You can use the washcloth and gently rub your child’s teeth and gums.
Brush toddler’s teeth with this method
I still use this technique with my now one year old.
I’ll start with the wet washcloth and gently rub around pretty good.
Then I will go in with a toothbrush with a tiny bit of toothpaste. Like half of a rice grain size tiny.
After I’m done, I’ll give him the toothbrush to let him brush his teeth and suck up the rest of the toothpaste if he wants.
I’ve been doing this since he was six.
I don’t fight as much now. Some nights he wants to brush his teeth first. But for the most part the resistance has subsided.
Now with my oldest child, life was not very easy when it came to brushing his teeth.
This is when I had to get creative.
My turn. Your turn.
One thing that I’ve found helpful was letting my son brush my teeth.
Yes. I know.
He thought it was so much fun, then he would let me brush his teeth without the resistance.
The trick with this is to make it seem like you enjoy your child brushing your teeth and that they’re doing a fantastic job.
This will get your child motivated to let you brush their teeth.
Get excited. Kids feed off of your energy.
Before you pick up the toothbrush, do an attitude check.
Take a deep breath and get excited for the best cleaning ever.
Let’s sing songs
You can do fun things like sing a song or dance a little bit. This will help to keep the tantrums at bay by making things more exciting.
There are some really fun videos on YouTube that you can also try playing about brushing your teeth.
My favorites are Elmo and Blippee.
You can check out those videos here:
A useful app to consider
While we are talking about phones, there are a few fun apps out there too that may provide some motivation for brushing as well.
I promise, these kids come out of the womb knowing how to operate an iPad these days. So I have no doubts that your child will be able to operate an app on your phone.
Mickey Mouse brushing app is one app that can be downloaded on Google Play that seems to provide some motivation for the little ones.
You can give this a try if you think that your little one can handle seeing the phone without wanting to grab it and play with it.
Use this toothbrushing chart
Lastly, for a little motivation you can use a brushing chart.
Have your child complete the steps on the chart and at the end of the week get a special prize.
Nothing big. Maybe a 50 cent ice cream or a 99 cent hot wheels car.
You can get fancy by getting a picture frame from Dollar Tree and spray painting the picture frame.
Then place the tooth brushing chart in the picture frame and use a dry erase marker (that you can get from the Dollar Tree as well) to mark off each step when it’s completed.
This visually can help your child see what needs to be done, their progress and how soon they will get their prize.
You can download a brushing chart that I made and even add your child’s name to it to customize it if you like.
These are my tips to helping make brushing easier and keep cavities at bay. Give them a try and let me know what works for you.
Don’t forget to take your child to the dentist regularly.