If you’re here I’m assuming your toddler is like mine and fighting you when it comes to brushing teeth? If you’re like me then the tip to start early either never got told to you or you completely forgot it because this is child number four, and you had other things going on.
Either way, we’re both here and brushing our toddler’s teeth is something we both dread. But don’t fret, I have some tips that can make it that much easier!
Start early :
As I mentioned above some of the best advice I’ve gotten when it comes to teaching a toddler to brush their teeth is to start early. Like SUPER early.
As in, no teeth yet early. The thought behind this is getting your child used to having something in their month will help later on when brushing teeth is actually needed.
But what do you use on your no teeth baby?
A washcloth. Super easy and no money involved. Just damp it and massage their gums. You can start this as early as 6 months.
So what if you forgot, like me, lol. Then teaching your toddler to brush their teeth with the tips below should help and reduce all the fighting.
TIP 1: Be Patient During Teeth Brushing Time
The most important and one of the first things I’ll mention is patience. As an adult brushing your teeth probably doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. But for a toddler, who isn’t quite used to having a brush stuck in their mouth, it’s major. Keeping that in mind while brushing your toddler’s teeth will make a world of difference. And being able to maintain that level of calm energy throughout the process will affect the outcome as well.
I know its easier said than done when your toddler is pushing your hand out of the way, or biting down on the toothbrush stopping you from brushing, but try to remain calm. If you get angry then they will do one of two things; think its funny and continue OR get angry too and make matters even harder.
So to avoid as much hassle as possible, whoosh five to six-time before, during and after brushing your toddler’s teeth. And while your counting to ten to calm down, make sure you aren’t rushing and are allowing more than enough time for your toddler to enjoy getting their teeth brushed.
TIP 2: Take It Slow When It’s Time to Brush Teeth
I know we all get in a rush (especially in the morning) but when trying to teach your toddler to brush their teeth it’s important to take it slow. Give them time to play around and have fun. Dancing, singing and allowing them to play in the water with their toothbrush are all great ways to get and keep your toddlers attention when its time to brush their teeth.
And as I mention in the next tip, doing a short burst of brushing helps make it not so bad for your toddler as well. Doing it this way will definitely increase the time you’ve spent brushing your toddler’s teeth, but it will ultimately help them to enjoy it that much more.
TIP 3: Allow Them To Brush Their Own Teeth
Something that used to make me cringe has turned out to be a great way to make brushing my little guy’s teeth that much easier.
I like to put Koko on the sink next to me (keeping one hand on him) and I brush my teeth while he does his. He absolutely loves it too! He watches what I do and tries to imitate it. I will try to sneak a few brushes in myself by asking to see his toothbrush and singing while I brush his teeth. It’s important to note I brush small sections at a time, very quickly. So I may brush the right bottom back and then hand him the toothbrush back. Wait a few moments, ask for the brush again and do the bottom left-back. I have found starting with the back makes things easier. It gets done first and there’s less hassle when it’s time to brush the fronts.
TIP 4: Songs For Brushing Teeth Are Always Great
I know, I know. I’m not a songwriter either. But it’s okay because your toddler doesn’t know what good music sounds like. Having a song makes brushing teeth more enjoyable for little kiddos, so give it a try. Here’s the song I’ve been singing since I was teaching my oldest as a toddler to brush his teeth:
“Brush your teeth, brush your teeth, broth them every day.
Brush your teeth, brush your teeth, brush the germs away.”
Just a quick little jingle I came up with and it seems to be a hit. All of my children have enjoyed it, ALOT!
And my final tip:
Tip 5: Make Brushing Fun For Your Toddler
If your toddler is anything like my Koko then a good time is always on his agenda. So when it’s time to brush his teeth I make it a full-on game. Combining all of the before mentioned tips and just making sure to laugh and play along the way. Anything I can think of at the moment to make it more fun.
Play brushing a soft animal’s teeth, allowing him to brush mine, literally anything I can think of. The trick here is, having fun makes it less of a chore for both of you. So relax and have some fun momma.
Brushing your teeth doesn’t have to be this mundane thing we hurry to finish so we can move on to our next task. Especially when kiddos are involved. Any way you can make life a little more fun is always a great way to make lasting memories, even when brushing your toddler’s teeth.
I really hope these tips help you out. If you have any more you think I should add them in the comments below, I’d love to read them.