Toddlers don’t truly understand why they need to brush their teeth, no matter what stories we inform them about cavities. And having somebody else put something in your mouth and move it around is just scary, or at least unpleasant.
Most of us don’t enjoy checking out the dentist every 6 months; we ask kids to open their mouths for us two times a day. No wonder they resist.
Holding a child down is always a bad concept. It’s guaranteed to make them dislike brushing their teeth. And it weakens your relationship. So I actually don’t like the concept numerous dental practitioners suggest, that two adults work together to lie the child down and hold his hands while the other individual brushes his teeth. Imagine if someone did this to you. How could it not be distressing?
How to Teach My Baby to Brush His Teeth
That does not indicate you should quit on brushing your toddler’s teeth, obviously. Reconciling those two things can be tough, but I have actually seen many families do it. Essentially, you start little and maintained at it, just as you made with every other routine. They all brush, ultimately. A few ideas:
1. Make brushing teeth just part of the routine. You might want to try it PRIOR TO the bath so she is not so exhausted. And even during the bath. More awkward for you, but she will be more playful and relaxed. Even right after dinner works.
2. Consider skipping tooth paste. The majority of dentists state that’s fine at this age, and given that a lot of kids don’t like tooth paste, you might experiment to see if that makes her more available to brushing. The other choice is to purchase a lot of kids’ toothpaste (Toms of Maine for example, prides itself on more natural ingredients) one after the other, trying them and providing her choices. Perhaps she will enjoy one which will offer her incentive.
3. “Play” toothbrushing all day to help get her used to the idea and exercise her sensations about it. For example:
- Let her brush the stuffed animals’ or dolls’ “teeth.”
- Brush all over her body– her arm, her ear. “Is this where I should brush?”
- Let her brush your teeth to reverse the power vibrant and help her work out her feelings about it with a lot of giggling (which launches the very same pent-up feelings as weeping.)
4. Use noise to start excellent practices. Encourage her to say “Teeee” (for the front teeth) and “Ahhhh” (for the back teeth) and holler like an animal so her mouth is open large while brushing. This also makes the whole procedure more of an amazing game.
5. Sing! “This is the way we brush our teeth, after we eat our supper” or “The toothbrush in the mouth goes round and round” can be extremely useful because singing increases the enjoyable level and enhances the routine. Maybe essential, it guarantees the child that the brushing is time restricted, due to the fact that they can count on it ending when the song ends. Which leads us to …
6. Keep it REALLY short! Having somebody poke around in your mouth can seem interminable even to an adult. The concept now is to get her used to the concept of brushing. You can extend the quantity of brushing time by utilizing songs and timers as she gets older.
7. Play “copycat”. Given that the majority of kids this age enjoy finding out by copying us but wish to “do it themselves,” brush together checking out the mirror. Have her copy you in the mirror as you brush. She will not do a comprehensive job, however it is a good start and teaches her that SHE brushes. That method she doesn’t need to rebel totally against brushing teeth even if she goes through durations where she won’t let you brush her teeth. Make it a fun game.
8. Assist her finish up. A lot of toddlers aren’t able to do a thorough job and the majority of parents wish to “assist” them a bit at the end. This is the challenging part, since many people hate having someone else stick things in their mouth. Attempt to make this part more tasty by restricting the time (utilizing a song, counting, etc), or making it a game. A typical game that is frequently effective is to chase after things in her mouth. So you may say you see a giraffe or a tiger in there that you need to catch. Some individuals talk about sugar bugs (bacteria). I personally liked the game of “Oooh, you had rice tonight, didn’t you? Let’s get that rice off your teeth! I see apples!” and so on
9. Offering options helps kids comply. To “finish up” her teeth, does she desire her favorite stuffed animal or doll to brush, or a puppet? (Puppets make it simpler for you to hold the tooth brush but she may prefer her doll. Obviously, you can likewise provide her an option in between two puppets.) Hold the doll or puppet and let them “finish up” her mouth. Awkward, but it does the job.
10. If she resists, take turns. Toddlers are starting to understand “My turn!” so you can state “Baby’s rely on brush Mommy!” then “Now it’s dolly’s turn!” and “Now it’s Mommy’s rely on brush Baby!”.
11. Sidetrack and use control wherever possible. It can be extremely handy to let the child hold a various tooth brush (or perhaps one in each of her hands) while you brush her teeth. Let her be in charge of whatever you can about brushing– the toothbrush she picks, the toothpaste (or not), the song, the position she remains in, the number of times you need to jump up and down before she’s done, and so on. Numerous parents state that concurrently letting the child brush their teeth WHILE they brush hers is the best interruption.
If she resists, do not enter into a power struggle. Simply “Play” toothbrushing the next day so she sees it is still on the agenda and gets a chance to exercise a few of her resistance. Then attempt some variation of brushing the next night.
There are also books and videos out there that deserve reading with her since it helps her to obtain used to the idea. There are even videos on utube of toddlers brushing. She probably wants to simulate other kids, right?
BUT I need to include that you can only fight one fight at a time. That is a great general, if discouraging rule, about any modification you want to develop. So I would not stress about tooth brushing while you are transitioning her nap. If she is too tired in the evening to manage it, then wait two months until she is taking longer naps.
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