Fun Ways to Make Toddler Brushing Teeth a Delightful Experience
Getting your kids to bed is hard enough. Add to that the stress of getting them to brush their teeth, and you’ve got a real problem on your hands!
It’s important to cultivate good oral care habits in children from an early age. Needless to say, this is no easy task. Luckily for you, we have compiled a list of ways to make brushing teeth for your toddler, something they will actually look forward to.
Firstly, a look at why that process of a child brushing their teeth is so important.
Why Brushing Baby Teeth is Important
You might be thinking, “Those baby teeth are going to fall out anyways, so what’s the big deal about getting a cavity in them?’ You’re sorely mistaken if you do!
Here’s the truth. Children’s teeth need to remain healthy because they are like ‘spot-holders’ for those incoming future adult teeth. Unhealthy teeth in children only means unhealthy teeth in adults!
The thing is, if the gums and site of tooth growth are not well cared for, it will adversely impact the growth of adult teeth, potentially throwing them out of alignment so that they grow crooked. The harsh reality lies in the fact that most parents will find themselves with their children at an orthodontist at some point. Why not be proactive and avoid the expense, hassle and pain of braces, by keeping your child’s gums and teeth healthy right from the start?
right age for braces is crucial to ensure optimal orthodontic treatment and achieve a healthy, straight smile.
When you should Start brushing Baby Teeth
Those teething stages for toddlers can start as early as 4 months. However, you don’t have to wait until the first tooth has emerged from above the gumline, to take care of their gums.
Begin by using a finger brush to wipe their gums and remove bacteria. You can do this as soon as they are born! The moment those teeth start appearing above the gumline, make sure you brush them for 2 minutes, at least twice a day. This is the time when you want to progress from a finger brush to a child-size brush with soft bristles.
Note: One of these ‘brushing’ times should be after their last meal. This will help prevent food or milk sitting in their mouth overnight.
6 Simple Tips to make the Toddler Brushing Teeth Process fun
Having problems with your child where it comes to brushing their teeth? Here are some great strategies to help make brushing their teeth a pleasurable experience.
#1. Making Brushing and Flossing a Family affair
‘A family that brushes together, stays together!’ Make brushing and flossing a family affair. Ensure you brush and floss at least twice a day with your kids. This routine of family brushing will go a long way in establishing a sense of consistency, which will make it easier for children to inculcate these good habits.
#2. Brushing to the sound of music
Any activity becomes more fun when done in sync with nice background music. And so it is with brushing. You can have some music that they like, play for a couple of minutes. Your child needs to stop brushing only when the music stops. This will prevent them from brushing for the mere 10 seconds’ duration they would otherwise brush for.
Tip: Make it even more interesting by getting them a musical toothbrush. They will delight in pressing that button on the toothbrush and brushing till the music ends. Or you could even sing them a song!
#3. Creating a ‘contest’ for brushing
Looking for brushing teeth games for toddlers that make an impact? Try this one! Set a 2-minute timer and tell your child that you are going to be competing with them to see who can brush their teeth longest without stopping. This will not only ensure that they brush the entire recommended duration of two minutes, it will also mean that the quality of brushing is of the highest order possible!
Tip: You might want to ‘give up’ just before the 2-minute mark!
#4. Pretend Play
Tell your children they have to take care of the teeth of their doll or stuffed animal, in addition to their own. After they have brushed their teeth for the entire duration of 2 minutes, have them ‘mock-brush’ the teeth of their stuffed toy or doll. Oh, and that doesn’t mean they skip using toothpaste just because their toy doesn’t get to use it!
Tip: Make it even more interesting. Buy them a separate toothbrush for their toy.
#5. Reward Consistency in Brushing and Flossing
If your children are brushing and flossing twice a day, every single day, it might be a really great idea to reward them for the same. Luckily for you, that reward need not be extravagant. Toddlers love the simplest things, like gold stars. Tell them that if they are consistent with their brushing and flossing over a longer period of time, they will get an even bigger reward. This will give your children a sense of motivation for regularly brushing their teeth.
#6. Let them be in charge
In case your toddler is a little older, you want to lend them a sense of control where it comes to that brushing and flossing. When you are in the bathroom, let them go first. It’s a great idea to watch how they brush, so you can hit the spots they might have missed (like brushing in circles) after they are done.
Tip: Let them brush ‘your’ teeth as well. This gives them an even greater sense of control. When they get a sense of responsibility for caring for your oral hygiene, they will garner an added sense of responsibility for keeping their own teeth clean.
At EuroKids, we believe that regular teeth brushing in toddlers is vital in removing decay-causing bacteria from their mouths. As we have seen, tooth brushing need not be boring at all. Using the fun tips outlined here, you can ensure that your toddler has not only great oral hygiene, but a perfect smile, too!