Toddlers and brushing teeth

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By Jason Ladock

A toddler can be sometimes difficult. It is a phase where your young child is beginning to be aware of what he likes to do and understanding some things on his own level. You should be able to handle a toddler by understanding him and having the patience to deal with him. One of the common difficulties a toddler may give you is when it’s time for brushing his teeth. It takes some convincing to do it your way, but maybe it’s about time you try to do it his way by giving into some compromises that may be helpful.
Let your toddler choose his toothbrush and toothpaste. The choice usually boils down to his favorite cartoon characters. So, get two of these and have him choose which he likes best. As for the toothpaste, you may also get 2 samples and have your toddler taste them and let him make the final decision which paste you are likely to buy for him. But, make sure that the toothpaste you choose is the ones safe for toddlers to use with low fluoride to protect his teeth.
Be the best example. Brush teeth together with your toddler as he may imitate what you do. Teach your toddler to put toothpaste on his brush and the proper way to brush the teeth. Then, make sure to face the mirror to show both your teeth to let him know how clean they are. Make it a fun time with your toddler too.
You can also make use of a special tooth brushing kit for kids. It can be a colored box filled with colored toothbrushes which your toddler can choose one at a time to motivate him to brush his teeth. Included also are some colored mini-books with pictures showing how to brush teeth which you can use to show your toddler. You can also include a toy with teeth showing and you can set the example of brushing the toy’s teeth or have your toddler do it himself so he would practice it on himself later on. If you really have difficulty in making your toddler brush his teeth, you may need to check for some problems regarding his teeth and gums.
They may be sensitive to the toothpaste or the toothbrush. Perhaps you can check with your pediatric dentist for proper advice. Also, for some quick fix to solve this problem, you can wipe your toddler’s teeth with a clean wet soft wash cloth, you can use a finger brush that you can brush the teeth with and you can use some flavorless tooth paste just in case your toddler doesn’t like the taste of tooth paste. When your toddler makes the effort to brush his teeth, show some praise by rewarding him. Maybe you can reward him some special snacks or an extra time to play. Try to talk to your toddler in his own level of understanding, that if he doesn’t take care of his teeth, he would be toothless forever; he wouldn’t be able to eat his favorite foods, or show a picture of how he would look like with dirty teeth; at least he would understand on his own way why it is important to brush his teeth.

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