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Have Fun With Tooth Brushing

As soon as the first tooth pops through the gums it seems like tooth brushing is the furthest thing from your child’s mind.

When they are only a few months, the toothbrush seems like more of a toy than a tool. They want to hold it, slurp it, chew it, but they do NOT want you to brush their teeth with it! This can be very frustrating especially as teeth care gets more important with each passing month.

By the time they reach the toddler years, it seems like they are too busy to brush their teeth. Some kids will let you give their teeth a quick scrub, if you can catch them, and others will fight brushing tooth and nail. The latter is the most frustrating of all. There’s nothing worse than a bedtime battle. Stress before bed only leads to more stress and can make falling asleep more difficult for both mom and baby.

If your child is giving you “toothbrush grief” then read on to find a few helpful tips and tricks that have worked for other frazzled moms and their finicky tots.

Make it fun

Sure. Tooth brushing is about as fun as watching paint dry, but with a few little tricks you can make it a little more fun. Toothbrushes that play music while they brush, light up or make sounds are extra fun for toddlers. It gives them a sense of reward. You can also try singing songs, using a child-friendly timer that they can control, making funny faces in the mirror, or anything else that will help to keep your child occupied for the few minutes brushing takes.

Try a reward chart

Toddlers may connect with the concept of getting a sticker for every time they successfully brush. Some parents prefer to give a small reward for every brushing, however you might find that this becomes a bit excessive as the days go by. Try to have a sticker for each brushing and then a reward at the end of the week.

Switch toothpastes

Sometimes the reason for tooth brushing grief is because your toddler simply doesn’t like the taste of the toothpaste. Try a different brand. Some toddlers prefer specialty toddler toothpaste which doesn’t foam as much and comes in a very lightly flavored gel. Remember to never brush your toddler’s teeth with adult toothpaste. Toddler toothpaste is usually safe to swallow, but toothpastes made for adults or older children can be problematic if too much is ingested.

As with all things, toddlers take a while to adjust to routines especially with something as daunting to them as tooth brushing. If your child refuses to brush and you continue to have trouble with your child’s dental care, consult your doctor or dentist. They will be able to guide you in the right direction and help you keep your child’s teeth looking clean and healthy.

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eumom team 

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