Tips for Toddlers
Have you ever tried to brush the little one’s teeth and been so frustrated you just give up?!? I have! With 4 children of my own, I can tell you first hand that it’s not the easiest task to accomplish and each child is so different and will respond just a little differently. So if one of these techniques don’t work for you, just try, try again.
Tip #1: For the babies who are teething or whose teeth are just breaking through, chewing on a toothbrush is an excellent idea! No toothpaste needed, just the brush and lots of saliva!
Tip #2:For the little ones, just when they’re starting to get their teeth – You sit on the floor, criss-cross apple sauce, and lay their head in your lap with their legs facing away from you. (It will look like they’re laying in a dental chair, without the chair.) Then have them extend their chip up towards you as you lightly brush their teeth in circular motions, just doing the best you can. At first, you may be only able to brush for a few seconds, but after a while, they’ll get more used to it (and you, too) and before you know it, you’re brushing morning and night! There are finger brushes that you can try as well if they don’t like the toothbrush.
Tip #3: Use a timer. Any timer will do, just make sure that it stays in the bathroom where they’ll see it on the counter and use it. It can be a one minute timer, one minute for the top and then flip it and do it again for the bottom teeth. That way they are counting down to when they’re finished.
Tip #4: SING! Sometimes I sing so much that my children tell me to stop, however, it truly works. Find a song they like to sing or a number they like to count up to, and do it while you are brushing their teeth! Some songs that worked well for my littles were “Itsy Bisty Spider,” sung twice, The ABC song, Wheels on the Bus, or London Bridges. Whatever the song, decide how to break it up into two sections, brush the bottom teeth first, pause for a second to let them swallow and then finish on the top. They think it’s fun and brushing time will go quickly and end up being fun instead of a drag.
Most importantly…..BE PATIENT! It will come and eventually they will brush their teeth on their own. It just takes time and lots of patience. Don’t let this little thing become a battle early in their little lives. If you need extra tips or help, don’t be afraid to ask your hygienist on your next visit in to see us! Happy Brushing!
Wendy Parker, R.D.H. and also known as M.O.M.
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