Once your baby is out of babyhood and enters the age of two, brushing his teeth has to become a daily activity. Your child is now on all kinds of solid food and has enough number of teeth in his mouth for the germs to start working on them.
Mothers tend to postpone the brushing activity as toddlers are way too difficult to handle. But hygiene of the teeth plays a great role in keeping the bacteria at bay and preventing your child from falling sick with cough, cold and other throat and respiratory disorders that can be caused by the bacteria that are harboured in the mouth.
How do you get your toddler to brush his teeth? Does he run all over the place and refuse to open his mouth. Does he have a hatred towards the flavour of the toothpaste that you use?
Or does he just love the minty flavour and swallows it quite often before you can prevent it? These are all normal problems faced by mothers that sent them to a fit of frustration that they stop brushing the toddler’s teeth. Here are some ways to get your toddler to brush his/her teeth and remain free of germs all throughout the day.
Choice Of Toothpaste
The first thing to asses is the kind of fruity flavours that your kid has a fancy for. It could be cherries, strawberries or something else. In moderns times it is not difficult to get a flavoured paste for your kids as there are a dime a dozen when it comes to toothpastes for kids. Understand his liking and get the flavour that he likes.
This will make matters easy for you. Allow your child to choose the toothpaste. Many toothpastes come in beautifully decorated and printed tubes that kids find it interesting to hold them and use them when needed.
Choice Of Toothbrush
Now comes the job of getting a toothbrush for your child. This too is an easy matter as toothbrushes for kids are designed to attract them well. Choose the right colour and design which will make your toddler want to brush his teeth quite often. Allow him the choice so that he is entirely satisfied with the product. Allow him to use it around the house.
You can show him how to use the toothbrush and let him practice at his pace. It would be a good idea to get two toothbrushes so that he can use one for practice and play and you can safely store away the other one which is for the actual brushing. Encourage him to brush on his own and allow him to get used to the whole process.
For kids who are more difficult to handle, you may want to try toothbrushes which are electric and have music when the child starts brushing his teeth. These are sure ways to get him interested in brushing and in making your work easy.
Let Him Watch You
Toddlers most often imitate their parents, whether it is good or bad. So a good way to instil the habit of brushing in your child is to let him/her watch you brush your teeth in the morning and evening. On the first day, you can allow him to hold his new toothbrush and squeeze a pea sized tooth paste into his brush. Now you can let him stand near you and watch you brush your teeth.
Make sure that you move your brush in the correct manner. Your child might want to imitate you. Help him with the brush and slowly brush his teeth in the process as well. This will make it much easier for you as well while you teach him how to do it. Once you have brushed his teeth, allow him to hold the brush and do his own practice. You can now give him the other brush which you have bought for his use. This is a sure way to get your child interested in brushing.
Some kids are still difficult to teach at this stage and you might have to device other ways to get them interested. Probably you can get a toy set with toothbrushes and make him brush his baby bear first before he starts the routine himself. You can make him understand why the teddy has to brush his teeth and how important it is to keep his mouth clean.
Introduce the toothbrush after many days of following this practice. By now he would understand that brushing is important and he needs to do it on a regular basis. You may now take him along with you while you brush. Let him watch his brother or sister brush as well and understand the importance.
Once you have set up a routine with your child, you can now encourage more by putting up charts where you can mark the days as you brush. Set up a reward for your child once she completes one month of brushing her teeth. This will make her happy and soon you will find her reminding you to brush her teeth and doing it on her own more often, without your assistance.
Encouraging your child to brush regularly on her own is the first step towards setting up a habit. However, ensure that you brush her teeth well by checking her teeth towards the end to make sure that the teeth are properly cleaned. Once the habit is formed, you can leave her alone and make sure that she ticks her chart diligently to get her special gift at the end of the month.
When your toddler has become self sufficient with her brushing, you can now stop brushing for her in the end after she has done her brushing on her own. Most of the time, if she has followed the correct procedure of brushing her teeth, the teeth will be clean without you having to clean it at the end. But you must still keep a check on her teeth every day after she has completed her brushing.