Little children resist brushing teeth because it can be a scary thought to have something hard and bristly in your mouth and have it move around. If you are one of those lucky parents whose kid loves mimicking you and in the process liked the idea of brushing or chewing on a plastic brush, then you may have it coming easy for you. Incase however your kid has taken an aversion to the idea then here are a few tricks and games you can play to get the habit going.
Setting a routine from early days paves the way for a lot of issues from arising. Let the morning/bedtime routine be playful and relaxed and smoothly slip in the act of brushing with a song or a story. Once your child has adapted to brushing willingly, keep the process short initially. Toothpaste can either be your friend or your enemy. If it works for you, invest in child appropriate toothpaste and involve your child in the buying decision. On the other hand if the child resists toothpaste you can skip it. Experts say at this stage not using toothpaste is not going to harm your child’s teeth. Play acting on dolls and toys can also make the idea of brushing acceptable. Use playful sounds like a lion’s roar, making up fun words and enunciating them in a joyous manner, singing brushing songs, play acting as if a Choo Choo train is entering a tunnel, open mouth wide etc… all these sweet acts can work to produce hygiene friendly habits and deflect the fear of brushing.
At times when they are still learning how to brush some parents may be in a hurry to make their little ones perfect in the act, in this instance showing patience and helping finish up where necessary would do wonders. Make the children feel in charge, give them choices between two brushes or offer to take turns in brushing, for example: “Baby can brush Mama’s teeth now”, “now it’s Mama’s turn to brush Baby’s teeth”. Distracting and controlling the situation in a mild manner is the key to success here.
Consider investing in kiddie books or videos that talk about oral hygiene in an animated or child friendly illustrative way.
At the end however, keep in mind that as a parent you are tackling one situation at hand at a time. Your toddlers are so little and the world is such a big place, give them time to explore, absorb and act. Very soon you’ll get those twinkly milk teeth shining.