Getting your children toothbrushing to music. Making funny faces in the bathroom mirror. Seeing who can spit their toothpaste the farthest…These are just some of the silly methods parents resort to when teaching kids to brush their teeth.
If you're still trying to figure out how to get toddlers to brush their teeth, you're not alone. Most parents will testify that child toothbrushing is a constant battle. But it's a war that's worth waging. Around 28 percent of children aged two to six already show signs of tooth decay while more than half of children aged six to 11 have cavities. What's more, poor oral hygiene can lead to everything from speech delays to diabetes.
So, how do you get your children toothbrushing from an early age? Read on to find out our top tips for success.
1. Make it Key to Your Daily Routine
As your family dentist will advise you, encouraging good dental hygiene in your children is vital for their future oral health.
The best way to instil this into your child is to make toothbrushing a cornerstone of their morning and nighttime routines. In the same way that a bath and book helps them prepare for bedtime, insisting that they always brush before bed and after breakfast – no matter the time or how tired they are – reminds them of its importance in their daily routine.
2. Model Good Behavior
Your children will often watch you closely and mimic your behavior to perfect new skills, such as using cutlery or opening drawers – even if you don't want them to!
So why not use their desire to copy your every move to your advantage?! Instead of pointing and telling your kids to brush their teeth, brush your own teeth alongside them. Watching you model how your brush your teeth will help your kids understand how to do it better.
3. Brush Along to Music
Toothbrushing for kids might not sound like the most enjoyable activity, but these toothbrushing tunes can make it more fun for them. Brushing along to music is an easy way to encourage more interest in child toothbrushing. Plus, music can serve as a timer to ensure that they've brushed for the recommended two minutes.
4. Practice Through Play
Another option is to turn teaching kids to brush their teeth into a fun game. For example, you and your toddler could play dentists with some soft toys who've eaten too much candy to help improve their brushing technique and manual dexterity. There are also plenty of online toothbrushing games where your children can get points for their cleaning abilities.
5. Let Them Lead
Encourage your toddler to start the process of brushing their teeth each time, even if you have to finish off the job to ensure it's done properly. This will make them feel more in control, and as a result, more interested.
Allowing them to choose their own kid brush and toothpaste will also appeal to their need for autonomy and make the toothbrushing process more fun too.
How to Get Toddlers to Brush Their Teeth
While learning how to get toddlers to brush their teeth can seem like an uphill battle, it will get easier over time. Plus, with these great tips to make your children feel more involved and interested, child toothbrushing just got a whole lot more fun for all the family!
For more of the best health and lifestyle tips, be sure to check out our other blog posts.