Tips to Help Kids Enjoy Brushing Their Teeth
If you talk to any parent about what introducing teeth brushing to their child was like, you may hear most found the initial introduction to have been a little bumpy, to say the least. If you have approached this milestone in your tiny tot’s life and it is time to introduce teeth brushing, here are few tips that may help you and your little one make brushing a fun, enjoyable time to ensure good oral hygiene.
First and foremost, set the example. As most parents know, children love to mimic what their parents do early on. Step number one in getting your child to enjoy brushing his or her teeth, is to show that you enjoy brushing yours. If you’re not in the habit, or have been slacking a little on your oral care, get back on track so your little one sees that this is the “norm” in your household.
Make their toothbrush special, personal, and something they love. Try buying a
colorful toothbrush, or one with a beloved character on it. Make sure they know that this is their
very own special brush. Maybe buy their favorite doll its own toothbrush as well, to let them get
used to the idea that everyone, even dolly, needs to brush their teeth daily.
Let them do it. Allow your tot to brush his or her doll’s teeth, explaining why it’s so
important to keep dolly’s teeth clean, or allow them to brush yours (possibly both); showing
them that it’s not terrible to have dolly’s and your teeth brushed, in turn helping them realize
it’s not something to be afraid of.
Size matters! Remember to use a pea-size drop of toothpaste for your child’s brush. Too
much toothpaste can overload their sensitive mouths, or cause too many bubbles in the mouth,
creating immense discomfort and an overall unpleasant experience for your little one.
What’s good for you may not be good for them. Be careful what toothpaste you use for
them. Children’s taste buds are much more sensitive than adults; a paste that may be okay for
you may overwhelm their little mouths. Try purchasing a children’s toothpaste, in a mild flavor,
to ensure that you aren’t overwhelming their tiny buds.
Distract. Some parents have found that allowing their child to watch a favorite video or show
only during brushing encourages them to sit still. Whether it is a video, a doll, a c.d., or
something else, find one thing that can be watched, listened to, or played with, during brushing
time only. This allows your child to look forward to brushing because this is the only time in
their day and night they get that special item.
Sing. Some parents find that singing helps alleviate anxiety during “teeth time.” Their tots
realize that they are done when the song is over, giving them a time frame to abide by. They
know that brushing will be over before they know it!
Have patience. When all else fails, remember to have patience. Realize that no child is the
same and what may have worked for your first child, or a friend who swears by a particular
method, may not be the fit for you and yours. It won’t be the end of the world if your child
doesn’t fall in love with brushing right away, but if you are consistent, patient, and continually
emphasize the importance of good dental hygiene, your child is sure to get the hang of it,
whether it is sooner or later.
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