Getting your toddler to brush their teeth can be a daily battle. However, it is important to ingrain these habits from an early age to set your child up for good oral health for life. Teaching your toddler good oral hygiene habits creates a great foundation for them to be able to take care of their teeth into their teenage and adult years. Keeping up with daily oral hygiene routines at home can help prevent the need for expensive dental treatments later on.
At Dental on York, our aim is for your whole family to achieve and maintain their best oral health. At our Sydney clinic, our children’s dentists are here to help you and offer advice on caring for your little one’s teeth. For now, let’s explore some ways you can get your toddler to brush their teeth.
Set a Good Example
It is no secret that children learn by copying their parents. If your toddler sees you neglecting your oral health, then they probably will too. Your child needs to see you brushing your teeth thoroughly and hear you talking about the importance of healthy teeth and gums. This will help them understand and encourage good habits.
It is a good idea to brush your teeth alongside your toddler every morning and night. Let them have a go at doing it themselves with your supervision. Of course, they will need your help to brush for the full two minutes and reach all the spots. Making it a positive experience for your child will make them less likely to resist.
Make It a Game
Most toddlers love to play games, so why not incorporate tooth brushing into one of them? It can be a great way to get your toddler to brush their teeth. You could think up an imaginary game, for example, perhaps the tooth fairy has sent your child on a secret mission to brush every tooth. The possibilities are endless. The important thing is to make it a fun experience, so your toddler enjoys teeth cleaning time.
Sing a Song
Songs are a great tool for teaching kids. Most children respond really well to music and dance. So why not make up a tooth brushing song for your toddler to get them to brush their teeth? If you’ve been wondering how to get your toddler to brush their teeth, this one is definitely worth a try!
Create a Reward System
Kids love having something to work towards. Creating a fun rewards chart for your toddler will give them a sense of purpose and achievement. There are plenty of free ones you can find online too. Buy some fun stickers for them to stick on their chart every time they brush their teeth. You may offer a little reward at the end of each week or month if you like. This is a great incentive for your toddler to brush their teeth. At the same time, you are teaching them persistence and perseverance.
Buy an Exciting Toothbrush
There are countless options when it comes to junior toothbrushes. They come in all shapes, sizes and colours. If your toddler has a favourite cartoon character, then you could search for one with that on it. You may also find little electric toothbrushes that play songs. Letting your toddler pick which toothbrush they want at the supermarket is another good idea. Letting them be involved in the whole process can engage them and teaches them the importance of tooth brushing.
A common issue with getting toddlers to brush their teeth is the taste of toothpaste- they may dislike it. So, it is important to find one with a yummy, fruity flavour that they like. Just be sure it contains fluoride.
There are plenty of tools out there to help parents with the tooth brushing battle. Apps have become popular in teaching oral health habits to young ones. “Brush Teeth with The Wiggles” is a good one if your toddler is a Wiggles fan. It shows all of the characters brushing their teeth and will hopefully motivate your child to copy. It also incorporates a reward system.
“BrushDJ” is another fun one. It uses songs that your kids can brush along to, perfect if you’re not a fan of singing yourself. It also has ‘how-to’ videos for flossing and maintaining good dental habits. There are plenty more out there, it’s all about trial and error to see which one your toddler will enjoy the most.
Creating good dental health habits early on in life can help create good dental habits for the long run. It can be a difficult task getting a toddler to brush their teeth but try to persist. Oral health is so important, not just for teeth, but for general wellbeing too. Making tooth brushing fun is the best way to get your toddler to brush their teeth!
At Dental on York, we are happy to help. Give us a call to learn more about children’s oral health or to book your child in for an appointment.