It is important to help your child form good oral health habits when they are young. Here, our Calgary dentists offer a few tips and tricks to making the brushing process more enjoyable for your toddler!
Brushing Your Child's Teeth
Even though some children aren't keen on the process, it's incredibly important that your child has their teeth brushed at least twice a day. Until your child reaches eight years of age they won't have the proper dexterity to do a good enough job brushing their teeth on their own and you will have to assist them.
There are times when it can be a fight, so try to make it fun. Like most things, routine is key.
Here are some tricks to get your kids excited about brushing:
- Let your toddler or child hold your toothbrush and brush your teeth while you hold their brush to brush their teeth. Usually, this is a fun way that they enjoy brushing.
- Ask your child to look in the mirror with their mouth open and pretend to see "sugar bugs," then proceed to brush.
- Purchase toothbrushes specifically designed to entertain children. Some connect via Bluetooth and kids can follow along on your phone while they brush.
- Offer small rewards for challenging toddlers after brushing – like stickers, reading a favorite book afterward, or holding a special toy.
- Using a (separate) toothbrush, brush the teeth of each of your child’s favorite toys after you brush your own. Talk about how important it is that their toy takes care of their teeth. Most toddlers, upon seeing how much their toy loves having their teeth brushed, will want theirs done also.
- How you ask can allow them to feel some independence. You might ask “Which toothbrush would you like to use?” instead of “Are you ready to brush your teeth?” or “Do you want to brush your teeth?” They'll feel involved in the decision and be more likely to cooperate.
If your toddler is still resistant to the brushing process, try using a piece of gauze to rub on his teeth. There are some pre-formed gauze pieces just for this purpose. If your dentist recommends using fluoride toothpaste once a day, just a dab is all that is necessary.
Along with regular brushing, your child should visit the dentist twice annually for routine preventive care as part of their overall oral health regimen.