Tips To Help Get Children Brushing Their Teeth
We all know how important it is to take care of our teeth. Quite apart from the fact that tooth pain is one of the worst pains out there, you have to keep your teeth for life. And yet getting children to brush their teeth twice a day, every day, for two minutes can sometimes feel like an impossible task. Choosing the right baby toothpaste, making it fun, and keeping calm can all help.
Here are our top tips for getting children to brush their teeth.
One of the best things you can do is start early and make sure teeth brushing is an accepted non-negotiable part of their routine right from the beginning.
Ideally itís good to start brushing twice a day for two minutes as soon as they start getting their first teeth which is usually around 6 months, but you can start getting them used to the idea even earlier by cleaning their gums with a damp cloth, silicone finger brush or by using special teeth and gum wipes.
This gets babies used to having something in their mouths and gets them used to the idea that this is part of their routine.
Get the Right Position
With babies and young children you need to be brushing their teeth for them and the likelihood is they wonít calmly sit still for two minutes twice a day every day. Getting the right position can really help. With babies itís best to have them sitting on your lap either with their head resting against your chest, or in the crook of your non-dominant arm. This allows you to get a good view of their mouth, a good angle for brushing, and gives you the ability to use the other arm to help keep them still.
When they get older standing behind them and getting them to tilt their head back can be a good option. As can being in front of them. Find the position that works for you. Some children like to be able to see themselves in a mirror while you are brushing, while others find that far too distracting.
Make Brushing Fun
If you have a reluctant brusher there are a few things you can do to help make brushing fun. There are some really cute toothbrush timers available for example as well as some great apps that play silly songs for two minutes to help children stay focused.
It can also help to get children engaged by letting them choose their own toothbrush and pick their favourite toothpaste flavour. Thereís no reason you canít turn tooth brushing into a game or even have a reward for good brushing if that will work for your children.
Set a Good Example and Stay Calm
As with so many aspects of parenting, getting kids to brush their teeth is as much about you as it is about them. They learn by our example so letting them see you brush your teeth for two minutes every day is a really good way to show them how itís done.
Itís also really important that you stay calm no matter how frustrating it is if they wonít keep their head still or their mouth open as knowing that teeth time is the time when mum or dad loses it will only add anxiety and make things worse.
Next Up: Do Babies Need Toothpaste?