The fresh, clean feeling that comes with a good smile-scrubbing session is enough to get most people to brush – but toddlers aren’t “most people.” According to a pediatrician and author Dr. William Speaks, toddlers are mainly motivated by having fun and being happy. If you’ve got a pint-sized protestor on your hands, your best bet is to make brushing a fun event. Sound challenging? These five ideas will help you get started.
Make it an event
When it’s time to brush, gather the whole family in the bathroom and do it together. The more, the merrier! You can even crank a fun toothbrushing tune to make it a real party.
Go old school
If futuristic timers and apps don’t interest your child, go back in time instead. Purchase a sand timer that contains two minutes of sand. The sifting sand will fascinate kids and help them visualize time.
Practice makes perfect
Grab an old toothbrush and let your child brush the teeth of a favorite doll or stuffed animal. If the doll is plastic or washable, you can even try a dab of real toothpaste. Feeling brave? Let your tot practice on you with your toothbrush!
Reward their efforts
Develop a sticker chart and reward kids for hitting the mark for a week or a month. You can even add a fun seasonal spin with timely stickers, such as jingle bells, snow flakes or snowmen!
It’s recommended that everyone – kids and adults – brush twice a day for two minutes each time. Time can be a difficult concept for younger kids, but technology makes it easier. Look for a toothbrush equipped with music, lights or sound effects that play until it’s time to rinse and spit. You can also download Delta Dental’s free mobile app, which includes a toothbrush timer.
With these fun tricks, toothbrushing tantrums can become a thing of the past!