Ideas to help with toddler tooth brushing?

(March 12, 2010)

Getting your toddler to brush his teeth can turn out to be a gargantuan task. However his teeth need to be cleaned to avoid cavities forming and to keep the gums healthy.  When the child’s teeth are still in the process of coming up, all one needs to do is clean the teeth gently with a damp washcloth. The parent can also gently clean the gums and the tongue. When the back molars begin to come in roughly when the child is 18 to 20 months of age, then the parent should start brushing the child’s teeth with any kind of soft bristled nylon toothbrush which has been specially designed for a child. There is no need for any toothpaste but if you wish to you can use one that is meant specifically for babies and toddlers.

As soon as the child is able and willing to brush his teeth it is advised to give him a toothbrush. Some of the ways to get a toddler interested in brushing his teeth is to buy the toothbrush in some exciting shape or style. These days you can even toothbrushes which play some accompanying music when the child brushes. Letting a child choose his own toothbrush can also help in building excitement and thus encourage the toddler to use it. Other ways to encourage the child to brush is if the parents brush along with child or an older sibling brushes along too. Children love to emulate others and this could be the perfect opportunity to exploit. It is vital that an adult always supervises the brushing of a child’s teeth to ensure that the teeth are getting cleaned properly and the child does not do any damage to their gums while brushing.

Giving the toddler positive feedback at the end will ensure that he likes this new type of play and will like to repeat it. For children who are still resistant to the idea of brushing, extra thought will be required to bring out the fun element in brushing. An alternative is to get more than toothbrush with some cartoon characters on them. That way the child finds it fun to pick out a new character everyday to brush the teeth with. At times brushing can be done while the child is in the bath and is busy playing with all his toys and is hence distracted. Or he can take turns to brush the teeth of his toys before he brushes his own. At time the child’s teeth can be brushed when they are busy watching their favorite TV program or when reading a particular favorite book, which will help to keep the child enthralled.

Submitted by P T on March 12, 2010 at 01:02

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