Do you wrestle with your toddler when it comes to tooth-brushing? I totally feel you. Especially when my own daughter is a very strong and self opinionated little missy. On some days she would refuse to have her teeth cleaned.
Other days she would cry and throw tantrums at the sight of the toothbrush, and on good days she would INSIST she do everything herself. Yup! Cue toothpaste mess or risk another random meltdown.
Try out some of these tips that I’ve picked up raising my two daughters!
#1 Let Them Pick Their Own Toothbrush
Do you let them pick out the toothbrush and toothpaste? When we bought her first real tooth brush and not those rubberized gum things, I let her pick one she liked. I narrowed it down to a few that was age appropriate and she chose from those. That got her all excited for the next tooth-brushing session.
#2 Start Slow
Let them explore and hold the toothbrush with their own hand. Alternatively you can give them one clean spare toothbrush for them to play with. For safety reasons make sure you there to supervise when letting them handle the toothbrush on their own.
As they begin to learn the texture of the bristles on the toothbrush, perhaps they would be more willing to give it a try.
#3 Take Turns!
Let her brush yours so you can brush hers!
#4 Make it Fun! Let Them Copy You
#5 Scare Her, Well… Sort Of
I definitely do not resort to scaring her with dentist drills and the like because that would just backfire on me. I’m just lucky she does grasp the meaning of dirty, and being the toddler that she is, she lumps worms, germs, insects into the same category. She is afraid of those. This is probably not a very good method, but it gets the job done. “You wouldn’t want germs in your mouth now do you?” I would tell her. I only do this on worse case scenarios and it works a charm.
#6 Get Help From Props
I actually use this phone app called Star Teeth on Iphone App Store to keep things fun! I like that it has a two minute timer countdown, so that kids keep brushing until it is times up. I used this back when my eldest was a toddler and have kept the app ever since. Kids can choose their favourite character from the selection area, be it a superhero, a cat or even a princess.