Your child is getting older and becoming more aware of their independence. This is a lovely development but does not mean the challenges are over. In fact, it also means they may not want your help with important tasks like brushing their teeth. The early years of oral care, however, are some of the most fundamental. Here are some tips for brushing with your toddler to help them on their oral health journey, courtesy of Park Place Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics.
Model Brushing with Your Toddler
Think about what they see and what it means to help your toddler brush their teeth. Your children are becoming more aware of you as they get older. They absorb everything that you do, whether you realize they are watching or not. That’s why we always suggest that you, their parents, demonstrate proper hygiene by brushing twice a day, just like you want them to do. This helps them see that it’s not just something they have to do; it’s something everyone does. Some parents have even reported brushing with their child at the same time as them, in order to help them see proper brushing techniques, duration, and habits.
Build a Daily Routine for Brushing with Your Toddler
When you are raising your little one, you know that it’s important for them to follow a schedule and build routine. Getting up in the morning, getting ready to leave the house, and bedtime are prime examples they are probably already aware of by now. Brushing their teeth should fit in to those routines seamlessly. We recommend your child brush after breakfast and before bedtime, with parents announcing it as part of the transition. Saying things like, “Okay, we just ate breakfast, now it’s time to brush our teeth and get ready” helps build the familiarity with the practice itself. You will most likely have to announce this every time but remember that your child is noticing that consistency. There’s no need to challenge them or ask what needs to be done, just tell them it’s time to do it until they’re old enough to start taking the initiative to brush on their own.
Make Brushing with Your Toddler Fun
Everything is easier when you make things fun for your children. You may think, how on earth is brushing teeth supposed to be fun? Luckily there are more ways than ever before. Buy a toothbrush with their favorite character on it, find a flavored toothpaste they like, you can even make a song and dance out of the activity itself. Another thing is that parents can play a video on YouTube for brushing teeth. There are tons of them out there which feature popular children’s characters and have catchy music timed at the appropriate duration for proper tooth brushing. Some parents have also said that giving their child rewards like stickers can help in the early stages of brushing. Just think about what you would have liked at their age and go from there.
Schedule an Appointment
At Park Place Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, we are used to working with children and know how to help them build healthy habits for their teeth. If you need help getting your child to brush properly, we are always willing to meet and help out. Click here to schedule an appointment today!