Wrangling toddlers is hard work for almost all daily chores and brushing teeth is no exception! Ideally you need to be brushing your toddler’s teeth for two minutes, once a day.
Stand in a position where you can get a good view of your toddler’s mouth, either directly in front of them or behind them facing the bathroom mirror. Once you can see what you are doing (and you have convinced your toddler to open their mouth), gently move the toothbrush in small circles to clean the front surfaces of your child’s teeth. Tilt the toothbrush to get access to the inside surface of the teeth, and use a backward and forward motion to clean the biting surface of the teeth. Be sure to clean all of the teeth.
Toddlers vary in their ability to spit out toothpaste so it is important to use a children’s toothpaste. These specially designed products have reduced fluoride concentration so their developing teeth don’t become mottled from fluorosis if they ingest too much fluoride. If your toddler refuses to use toothpaste, continue to brush their teeth without it, and keep trying. As with all things they are discovering, a toddler can change their mind about what they like the taste of on a daily basis.
How to brush kids teeth
Here are some tips to help you overcome the resistance most two year olds display when it’s teeth cleaning time:
▪ Consider a battery powered toothbrush to get them excited about cleaning their teeth. Let them hold it and get them used to the vibrating feeling. Yes it tickles, but that’s half the fun!
▪ Offer a non-food reward, such as a sticker everytime they clean their teeth. You may not make it to the two minute mark straight away, but with lots of patience and encouragement they will soon get the hang of it.
▪ Have two toothbrushes, one for you and one for your toddler.
▪ Sometimes watching mummy or daddy cleaning their teeth is a good incentive to get them started.
▪ Let them hold the toothbrush and have a go first, then tell them it’s your turn to help them finish cleaning.
▪ Play their favourite song or video on your phone while they clean their teeth.
It is important to make it fun and not discourage them. Patience and repetition are key. Creating good oral health habits at a young age is essential to creating good lifelong habits.
On a lighter note the link below is for a video demonstrating one parents solution… be creative!
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