Dental hygiene is one of the most important lessons that we can pass down to our children. The reasons are many. One: the basic human courtesy of not having bad breath. Two: no one enjoys dental pain (or dentist bills, for that matter!). Brushing your teeth doesn’t have to be a boring, or a yucky chore. It can be introduced as a fun, and cool routine that everyone does every day. Below are some effective ways to get a toddler excited about brushing.
Cool new toothbrush
There are about a thousand different kinds of kids toothbrushes to excite any child. Make going to the supermarket to pick out a new toothbrush an exciting part of the day. Let your child pick out any toothbrush they want. It could be Sponge Bob, Dora the Explorer, Spiderman, or just a plain purple electric toothbrush. Just make sure it is small enough to fit inside their mouth comfortably. If you let your kid control this option this might excite them a great deal.
Mouthwash ie spitting without getting in trouble
In my experience, kids love mouthwash. It isn’t recommended that you give a child full strength mouthwash. You can cut your own mouthwash with a lot of water or you can purchase special children’s mouthwash. Either way, I have found that kids just love taking a mouthful of something, swishing it around, and spitting it into the sink. It is the one time they are encouraged to spit! Fun times for all.
Morning and nighttime bonding ritual
It is cliché, but clichés are often true. Kids love rituals and schedules. They like to know what to expect. Do what you can to incorporate brushing your teeth, and your child’s teeth at the same time each day. If this is something that the family does together, they are much more likely to want to take part in the activity. They will not want to be left out. See if you can get any older siblings to participate.
If you have a strong willed child, they most likely want to brush their own teeth. But are they really brushing their teeth well? Probably not as well as we would like. Try to incorporate what I’ve dubbed the “mommy/daddy check”. Let your kid go to town brushing their own teeth. Watch them as they do it, and in a fun way remind them to brush all of their teeth. Sometimes kids get very focused on just brushing the front. Once they are done, it is time for the check. This is where you can go in with the toothbrush and give them a good quick brushing, just in case they were not as thorough as you’d like. The catch to this? Your little one gets to do a “kid check”, and you let them take a look into your mouth and brush any spots you might have missed! It is a fun little game of give and take that will hopefully have your kid’s teeth sparkling clean.