Getting toddlers to brush their teeth

06 June 2014

The terrible twos is generally a difficult phase. Your baby is growing up and suddenly has strong opinions about what he or she does and doesn’t enjoy doing. One such thing which would probably be on top of the “I-refuse-to-do-this” list is brushing their teeth. Here’s some tried-and-tested advice.

The terrible twos is generally a difficult phase. Your baby is growing up and suddenly has strong opinions about what he or she does and doesn’t enjoy doing. One such thing which would probably be on top of the “I-refuse-to-do-this” list is brushing their teeth. At my house an attempt to get my two-year-old daughter’s teeth looking pearly white is met with aggressive resistance and generally results in everything except her teeth being covered in toothpaste. Surely, there has to be a better way . . . Here are a few tips on how to get your toddler’s teeth sparkling with less fuss.

Make sure your child's toothbrush is age specific and is a comfortable fit for them. A good thing to do once you've found the perfect toothbrush is to soak it in boiling water, in order to soften the bristles. The sensation of a toothbrush on your gum may be familiar to you and me but it could feel awful to a little somebody who’s not used it.

The next step is picking the right toothpaste. According to pharmacy technician and mom-of-three Holly McDorman, you need to pick toothpaste meant for young children. Two-year-olds don’t know they should spit it out so you need toothpaste that’s fluoride free. Too much fluoride can result in fluorosis which can cause defects to the enamel of the teeth. If your child is using toothpaste which contains fluoride, be sure not to put too much on their brush. A pea-sized amount is plenty.

Turn it into a copy-cat game

Children will learn to enjoy mundane things if you turn it into a fun family activity. If your child has a sibling, allow them to join in and turn the much-dreaded activity into a dental-care party. If your toddler sees you enjoying brushing your teeth they may be persuaded it’s not that bad after all. Use the bathroom mirror so your child can see both themselves and you, and in turn copy your motions but also have the satisfaction of doing it themselves.

Don’t give up!

If you have no luck with the above tips, then the old “hold and grab” will have to do. But beware not to traumatise them as this will only lead to more resistance in future.

Perfect products

Click here for a list of Checkers Oralwise products for little teeth.

-Lindsay de Freitas

Sources: voices.yahoo.com, allaboutkidsteeth.com, ahaparenting.com, parenting.com

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