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Getting toddlers and preschoolers to brush their teeth is a real struggle. Oh, the meltdowns, the tantrums, the pushing, and running away, what’s a well-meaning parent got to do?
The little ones are at an age where they will form life-long habits, and getting them to brush their teeth daily will help maintain oral health in the long run. But when you’re dealing with a toddler who is more nay than yay about brushing, it can become a cause of concern.
So, how can you get your little one to brush their teeth every day? By explaining the importance of brushing teeth and using some of the best ways given below to make brushing teeth fun. Let’s get started!
Importance of Brushing Teeth for Kids
Teeth are subjected to a constant build-up of bacteria and plaque irrespective of the age. The continuous build-up can lead to bad breath, cavities, tooth decay, sensitive teeth, gum diseases, etc. Therefore, brushing teeth twice a day is required to kill the bacteria and clean off the plaque.
Now, getting your child to understand the importance of brushing and actually wanting to brush might still need some more effort, especially if they are really young. Here are some ways you can do that.
5 Best Ways to Make Brushing Teeth Fun for Your Child
Now if your little one is all aboard the dental hygiene train, you’re a lucky parent. But if your mornings and nights have you pinning down your child and dealing with waterworks as you get them to brush, then here are some ways that other parents say worked for their kids.
1. Using Fun Apps
Technology can come in handy for teaching children to brush their teeth. Apps, such as the ‘The Disney Magic Timer App’ by Oral-B can help gamify the activity and pique their interest too. The fun part about this app is that children can earn a virtual sticker each time they brush their teeth. Interesting, isn’t it?
2. Investing in Quality and Attractive-Looking Toothbrushes
Purchasing products that assure quality, usefulness, and are attractive are an investment for kids. Anything that resembles a toy is bound to catch their attention, such as the Oral-B Electric toothbrush, which has a child-friendly design, a built-in timer, and comes in themes and colours that kids love. But that’s not all! The rotating action of the soft bristles does all the cleaning, and you don’t have to worry about any misses. Several parents have also reported how much their kids enjoy the sensation and the gentle massaging the brush gives their gums. With this electric toothbrush, all you have to do is guide your child to move the brush in his/her mouth and let the bristles fight off all the germs.
Check out the product link here.
3. The Brushing Time Rhyme
Another way to encourage children to brush twice a day and make the activity enjoyable is by accompanying it with a story or a rhyme. Here’s one you can try to get your munchkin to enjoy brushing teeth. Give it a rhythm, and speed up or slow down the pace to suit your kid’s preference.
My Little Milk Teeth
My little milk teeth,
Are strong and bright.
They help me speak,
They help me bite.
I can chew my food,
With them alright.
But they get sad,
When the sugar bugs fight.
So, mamma and daddy told me to,
Brush my little milk teeth.
To save them all, to have a candy,
After my midday meal.
Now I brush them left, and I brush them right,
At daybreak and in the night.
Round-round and up and down,
Sweeping the sugar bugs out of my mouth.
4. Brush Together
Children find group activities and imitating people particularly enjoyable. Then why not make brushing teeth a family activity? It is the most effective way to show your child the best technique to brush their teeth. You could have an impromptu contest as well, say a ‘slow brushing contest’ or ‘cleanest teeth contest’, to encourage your munchkin to brush properly. To make it more tempting, you can discuss the reward in advance and get the child excited by choosing something he/she recommended.
5. Flavoured Toothpaste
All of us would agree that kids have different tastes. You can use this to your advantage by letting your child choose the flavour of the toothpaste. Whether it is watermelon, mint, or bubble gum, a lot of getting children to brush twice every day depends on whether they like the way the toothpaste feels in their mouth or not.
These tips are sure to find a way into your daily life and make brushing teeth a whole lot fun for your child and a tad bit simple for you. However, you need to take some precautions also, which we will talk about below.
Precautions Parents Need to Take When Getting Kids to Brush Their Teeth
As a parent, you need to be careful every time your child brushes his/her teeth to prevent dental injuries and ensure dental health. Here’s what you need to bear in mind.
- Choose a low-fluoride toothpaste as excessive fluoride can damage tooth enamel.
- Limit the quantity of the toothpaste to the size of a pea, again to avoid damage due to excessive fluoride.
- Choose a brush that has soft bristles and a small head.
- Never rush your child when they’re brushing as it could lead to injuries of the gums and the teeth.
- Teach your child to spit in between brushing to prevent them from swallowing the toothpaste.
- Always supervise your child to prevent injuries, and ensure complete dental cleaning.
You will need to teach your child lifelong habits with immense care and love; dental hygiene is one of them. It starts with the primary teeth and then advances to the permanent ones when the tooth fairy takes each milk tooth away. Make the daily activity engaging, and you’ll be surprised how quickly and independently your little one starts brushing his/her teeth like a pro.