Many parents experience strong fight over brushing teeth with their toddlers. Most toddlers really dislike this activity, either due to toothpaste taste or number of other potential problems. And we can’t really reason with tiny tots how important is brushing teeth for their overall health.
So here are several ideas you can try running with your toddlers, ideas shared by other parents like you and me, who have been there and fought this same fight with their toddlers. As a result, they succeeded to turn brushing teeth in a daily routine.
With my three kids, the only thing that worked is singing the ‘Here we go around the mulberry bush’ song. I had forgotten about it with my third and she wasn’t brushing … then my sister reminded me. We are back on track. The spitting is where the real trouble comes… we practiced by letting her play with her drinks. Messy but they are just kids!
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Some days my son doesnt want to, other days he will happily oblige.Each night, we read 3 books before light out. My son gets one book for each bedtime task: pajamas, teeth, and potty. If he gives me a hard time or doesnt cooperate about any of this things, he loses a book (sometimes more). This ihas been fantastic for us, as my little bookworm loves his bedtime stories.
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This was a tough one for a while with my son and brushing teeth is still not a favourite activity. However, the best trick that works for my son is to tell him that I see something silly inside his mouth! So, I might say something like, “I see there’s a fire truck inside your mouth today. We better give it a wash. Oh no – it drove over here (start brushing the other side) and now it’s up here (start brushing over there!). It really works with him. If all else fails, I show him my fillings and tell him that “Dr. Reval wants you to brush every day so you don’t get cavities and fillings like me!”
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Let them chew the tooth brush by themselves as soon as they can hold toothbrush (with or without a little bit of toothpaste.) Actually they get quite a lot of cleaning done that way. Read some additional info about how to clean baby’s teeth.
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We have resorted to gimmick toothbrushes in this house. Pook has a flashing toothbrush and the idea is you brush your teeth the whole time it flashes. Still works 3 months on so not a total waste of money!
author at The Adventures of Meemoo and Pook. Follow Gemma on Facebook and Pinterest.
We’ve had to learn this in our household the hard way. After oral surgery on our three year old, we have made brushing our teeth a priority. I usually start by just letting my baby and toddler chew on the toothbrush. At three, I add toothpaste, and let them brush by themselves at night, while I do a double check in the morning. When they reach school age, I give my children a “breath test” to make sure they are using enough toothpaste and brushing long enough. If they fail, meaning I can’t smell the toothpaste, then Mommy brushes their teeth — which is so “embarrassing” on purpose (additional info about our tactics in Brushing Their Teeth article).
author at Mommy Crusader and her Knights and Ladies.
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What helped both of my girls as toddlers is mommy brushing her teeth side by side with them. As in so many other things, this is another opportunity to show them how things should be done by setting an example.
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Here are some of the things that helped with my toddler: 1. Let them choose a toothbrush. 2. Have a ‘brushing’ song. 3. Read a book about brushing. 4. Have them brush your teeth with water while you brush theirs. You may have to keep coming up with creative ways to keep them interested in brushing, or use a combination of techniques.
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Mihaela runs Best Toys 4 Toddlers blog and loves to come up with new ideas how to use old toys her 2 daughters keep leaving on the floor to slip over. She loves them despite the fact that they call her mommy few hundred times a day, and it makes her nuts.