Unfortunately this is us at the moment with Arlo, and there’s something very common about little ones being stubborn when it comes to brushing their teeth…perhaps it’s boring and gets in the way of playtime, or they don’t like the sensation, the taste of the toothpaste or maybe there’s no logical reason (because you know, toddlers). But the battle that occurs three times a day at the bathroom sink is certainly not an unusual one. We all know that it’s really important to have good oral hygiene; brushing three times a day, flossing between meals, visiting the dentist (check out Weybridge Dental if you’re looking for a new, family practice in that neck of the woods) and passing that knowledge onto your little ones isn’t easy.
So, with that in mind, here you’ll find 5 ways you can encourage your little one to not only brush their teeth…but brush them well!
Treat them to a new toothbrush
Lets face it, brushing your teeth isn’t the most exciting thing you’re going to do today. So, when you put kids into the equation you need to try and make as much fun as possible. It might seem a bit much to go to the shop just to buy a new toothbrush, but you’ll be amazed at how the novelty of a new one will get them excited to use it later on. Whether you go for a new colour or something with their favourite character on (Arlo has a Tigger one, and he likes to point him out each time we brush his teeth), making it a ritual to go to the shop every month for a new brush could be all it takes to get them brushing! Give it a go.
Let them choose the toothpaste
When us grownups choose toothpaste, flavour isn’t something we normally take into consideration. We usually go for things like whitening or cavity protection – but you can’t expect your little one to be as complacent about the taste as we are. So, why not let them choose the flavour? And keep trying new ones until they find the one that they like.
Your little one might not like the fact that it seems that only they have to go and brush their teeth at that moment. So, pick up your brush too and start together. They’re more likely to engage and “join in” if someone else is brushing too.
Create a reward system
If you try to warn your little one about the dangers and possibility of tooth decay and bad breath, they probably won’t care or understand. So instead of trying to worry or scare them into submission at the bathroom sink, try to reward them instead. Whether that’s with a sticker chart, or an extra story at bedtime, find a way to monitor their brushing progress and make sure that you follow through on any rewards that you promise.
Introduce a visual aid
You’re supposed to brush for a minimum of three minutes, but that’s not always easy for little ones to grasp. So, why not introduce something like an hour glass so they have a visual aid or see what apps you can find that will encourage them to brush.
Do you have any other tips for brushing teeth and children? I’d love to hear them, as even 3 kids in we’re facing something new when it comes to this!