One of the many challenging aspects of raising a toddler in the area of body hygiene is teaching him how to independently brush the teeth. In the early stages, the child poses some serious resistance, struggling vehemently often. This can lead to some complications part of which is the tendency to bruise the gums and hence, spend the rest of the day on bad terms with the child.
It won’t be a viable option of course to leave him to himself because at that early stage of life, toddlers are reputed for their insatiable appetite for sugary and sweet things which when left unattended for a long time can (and most definitely will) cause the breeding of bacteria in the mouth. That will definitely be a tight corner to get yourself in as a parent.
So, wondering how you can get your toddler to come around and become independent when it comes to brushing his teeth the right way? This article is just what you need to start with. These few tips will indeed be helpful.
Ways to get your kid to brush
Create Attractions and Make it Fun
It is natural that kids love attractions. Colours, shapes, sound, name it-they just get easily attracted. You can start by creating a fun atmosphere for brushing. Get him a colorful brush. You will engage him the more if it’s a mechanical toothbrush. You will also do well to get yourself an identically colored brush.
However, make sure you get a soft textured toothbrush for him so he doesn’t hurt his teeth.Once you find out he’s attracted to the toothbrush you can begin to work on getting the brush into his mouth. You should make this part full of fun for him, though.
It’s quite indisputable that children like to learn and live by what they see other people do. So, leading by example can be a good way to stir your toddler up to brush by himself. Sit him down and let him see you brush your teeth. Do this as amusingly as possible.
Use a Mirror
Another good idea is to brush together before a mirror. Let each one count the other’s teeth. Take it a step further by touching each tooth of his with HIS toothbrush and let him do likewise to you, with your brush of course.
This makes the process fun as well as ensures that your toddler understands that toothbrushes are PERSONAL effects; there should no occasion arise where he shares his toothbrush. If you see he is comfortable with the brush in his mouth, you can start by rubbing gently on and about each tooth with the brush.
Use the right Toothpaste
Get him a kids’ toothpaste that’s got colorful and attractive tubing as this attracts him stronger than what is actually inside the tube. If possible, stick to water only but if you’ll prefer to use toothpaste, ensure that it is fluoride-free until your child can be trusted not to swallow it (that’s probably not before he clocks two). Make sure though to use little at a time and keep it out of reach.
It will be helpful to coin a fun name for each tooth as you brush; this teaches him to always remember each tooth and not leave any out when brushing.
Engage in short brushing sessions
Also, try as much as possible to keep the brushing time as short as possible. You wouldn’t want to bore him out. At the same time, do not rush the process because that might result in his teeth not been thoroughly clean. Just keep the timing moderate.
It would help to teach him songs that will serve as reminders as to when appropriate it is to brush; before a meal, after a meal, after waking, before sleeping….
These tips are not the ultimate but they definitely will go a long way in getting your toddler to become comfortable with brushing his teeth. You can always pick a cue from neighbors too.
Your child will eventually catch on that brushing his teeth is a regular and necessary part of taking care of his whole body – and he’ll enjoy doing it.