If caring for a newborn is stressful for you, try taking care of a toddler! Yes, we know that it is an advantage for parents with toddlers because their child can already tell them what they want and need, but sometimes, knowing how they feel (especially if it is against your better judgment) can be very frustrating. So it is no surprise for a dentist to encounter a problematic parent asking for advice because her toddler hates brushing teeth. As we all know how important it is to brush teeth daily at an early age. So how can we cope with this scenario?
Dentists always advise his patient’s parents to guide their children in brushing their teeth until they reach 8-10 years of age. This ensures that the child’s teeth are properly brushed and maintained. But we also acknowledge the fact that not all the time a toddler would want to brush his teeth. So here are tips on how to coax your child against skipping the toothbrush.
Be a role model. Allow your child to watch you while you are brushing your teeth. You can give his own toothbrush and demonstrate the right way of brushing and rinsing your mouth. You can even hum his favorite nursery rhyme so he knows how long brushing time would take.
Take over. While he is ‘brushing’ her teeth, he may only be chewing on the toothbrush. But as he gets comfortable with the brush in her mouth, you can take over and brush his teeth properly but quickly.
You can play pretend and improvise. For example, you call the germs criminals, and you play a police officer trying to catch the bad guys inside his mouth. This idea will entertain him, tickle his imagination, as well as ensure that your child’s teeth are properly brushed.
Keep it short. Kids have a short attention span, and they want to do things quickly. Prolonging your child brushing time will result in building tantrums and you wouldn’t want that, right?
Take turns. There will be days when your child is not in the mood to do anything. As usual, try to make it fun for him and allow him to think he has a choice. Take turns at brushing teeth. Say that it’s his turn to brush your teeth or his toy’s, and then next is your turn to do it on him. This also creates a bond between you two.
Read books or watch videos online about toddlers brushing their teeth. This lets him understand the importance of brushing and motivates him to copy his favorite cartoon character.