I anticipated many challenges in motherhood, but teeth brushing was not one of them. Even after countless diaper changing wars, and the endless task of trying to convince my toddler to eat, I didn’t expect for the daily teeth brushing fight. At the end of a very long day such simple task can so exhausting, especially when its the last thing to do before getting your little stinkers into bed. I knew there had to be something that would make this dreaded task more enjoyable so I went on a hunt to find ideas on how to get that pearly whites clean without all the fuss. We have tried many of these and I have to say, they have really made a difference. It’s no longer the most feared task in our house, and finally feel like my kids teeth are getting a good clean!
1. Make It A Game
I brush my teeth at the same time as my daughter and we “race” to see who can brush the fastest. Surprising, she really gets into it and brushes and brushes to trying to beat me. If that doesn’t work, we take turns brushing each others teeth. She’s loves to help mama, and it makes her feel like a grown up. Make it fun and the task will be much more enjoyable for everyone.
2. Let Them Pick Their Own Toothbrush
If they are not cooperating with the daily ritual, next time your are at the store let them pick out a new tooth brush and toothpaste all by themselves. They’ll be so excited they will about their new Lightening McQueen toothbrush, they wont even realize they are cleaning there teeth! An electric toothbrush like this is also a great idea. Kids love them and they are said to be “75% more effective” in cleaning. Thats a win-win.
3. Encourage With A Reward
Now I’m not talking bribes or candy, but my toddler can’t wait to get through brushing her teeth for story time with Daddy. We pull out her favorite book and have it ready to go once the dreaded task is complete. It works like a charm. Try picking out their favorite book or stuffed animal and have it eyesight so they can see what is next once they have cleaned their teeth.
4. Find A Silly Song Or Video
Dentists recommend brushing our teeth for a full two minutes in order to get a thorough clean. You might be thinking, how on earth can I get my child to brush for that long if they wont even open their mouth? One thing that can help is to find a fun song or video that they get to watch every day while they brush their teeth. It will help keep them distracted long enough for you to get those peals sparkling. Remember the song or video is only something they watch when they brush their teeth, this will give them something to look forward too!
5. Countdown Timer
Try a countdown timer. Set it for 2 minutes somewhere your little ones can see it and tell them they have to keep brushing until the timer goes off. The anticipation of the buzzer keeps them brushing. You can always challenge them to see how many brushes they can do in 2 minutes to keep things interesting.
6. Educate Them On Cavities And Dental Hygiene
Now, we don’t have to terrify them with all the gruesome details, but you can educated them on what happens to our teeth if they do not get brushed. Dental hygiene is very important, and they may be more interested then you expect!
7. Brush Them In The Bath
This may horrify some people, but honestly it can be a life saver. My little girl is the happiest in the bath, and a happy mood makes brushing those teeth much easier. Besides, if you have a young child they probably don’t even spit out their toothpaste yet so you don’t have to worry about anything floating around in the tub. If this is the best option for you then incorporate cleaning their teeth into your bath routine.