Cleaning your toddler’s teeth should be a part of your daily routine. However, as we know, toddlers may not always be the most cooperative or patient people to work with. Persistence and Commitment is key. You should start introducing tooth brushing when teeth first appear. Sometime during the toddler years, your child will have most or all of their teeth, and then it’s definitely time to brush their teeth on a regular basis.
Here are 10 Effective Teeth Brushing tips for Toddlers:
Monkey See, Monkey Do
Let your child see how your brush your teeth. Show them what a pleasant experience it is. Be animated, be funny, be silly.
Let them brush your teeth. Then switch. Make it a team effort.
Choose a Fun (but Effective) Toothbrush
We just picked up the Philips Sonicare for Kids toothbrush and it’s been wonderful. A battery powered kids toothbrush can make ALL of the difference, because now, the toothbrush resembles a fun, interactive toy. The first time we had our son hold it, the vibration intrigued him. I showed him that it’s for teeth brushing by having him brush my teeth with it first. After a quick rinse, it was his turn. He was definitely surprised by the sensation on his teeth, but I described to him that I’m just tickling his teeth. From the mom side of things, I love that he 1) enjoys this toothbrush, and 2) the dynamic action of the toothbrush does much better at brushing than the old-fashioned way.
Face to face works best for me. I usually sit my kid on my lap, or on the bathroom counter. Sitting or standing behind your toddler, with your toddler look up, also allows for a good view.
Warm Up to the Idea
Don’t force the toothbrush. It will only create a negative experience. If you can only get a second in there, accept it and try again the next night.
Ease Into It
Start with the front teeth, then start making your way towards the back molars. From personal experience, I like to ask for a “grr” for to clear his front teeth, and then a loud “rawr” to clean his back teeth.
Make It Fun
Use pretend play. Pretend to get all of the sugar monsters off. Or sing a song. Counting the teeth also works with some children. As I mentioned before, when first trying out the Philips Sonicare Power Toothbrush for Kids, I told my son I was tickling his teeth, and that got a big grin out of him.
Toothpaste isn’t necessary at this young age. If you do get one, check with your dentist to see if they recommend one with fluoride or without. A small dab of child toothpaste works fine. I’ve found the more mild-tasting, the better.
When your child has a successful teeth brushing session, give them a small sticker (hey, it’s what the dentist does). The Philips Sonicare toothbrush we have has a free app that rewards kids for brushing well.
Routine, Routine, Routine
Young kids thrive on schedules and routines. Make sure to be consistent and brush their teeth at last two times a day. One time should be just before bed.
What teeth brushing tips for toddlers work for you?
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Philips Sonicare through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Philips Sonicare for Kids, all opinions are my own.