As soon as your little baby gets his first teeth, it is important that you keep them clean. When your baby becomes a toddler, get ready to step up your dental care game. Teaching your toddler to brush and floss his teeth can seem daunting, but it is an important part of your child’s daily hygiene. Plus it will be one less thing you have to do for him, eventually.
Apart from brushing and flossing, the foods and drinks your child consumes every day will play a big role in their dental health. Sugar is the worst enemy of toddler's teeth, so try and cut out as much as possible from their diet - especially before bedtime. And when you can, avoid sticky treats such as hard candies and gummies. These foods get stuck in between your child’s teeth and gums and can lead to serious tooth decay!
Make it fun
Let’s be real. Brushing your teeth is not one of the most exciting things we learn to do in life. So don’t make it a bore for your toddler either! Let him be creative and pick out his own dental supplies at the store. Choose his favorite characters or colors that are bright and engaging. Even if what he chooses is not fun to you, it may help you coax him to brush his teeth. When choosing floss and toothpaste, let him pick a flavor that tastes good to him.
Don’t expect too much
Understand that your toddler is just learning and doesn’t really know what he is doing. He won’t brush in the right places and will probably try to eat the floss. When you first get going, don’t be surprised if your kid just sucks the toothpaste off. No worries, you got this. Just stick with the process and with time they will learn about brushing technique. Before you know it, he will be brushing like a pro.
Brush your teeth together
Watching you brush your own teeth is the best way for your child to learn how to do it for himself. Plus, it is way more fun for him! It is also a great way to make sure they stick to the time and get in at least two minutes of brushing. Show him how to use the toothbrush to clean the teeth in a nice circular motion. Point out the areas in your mouth teeth and show him where to brush. Don’t forget the tongue and cheeks! Being by your side will encourage your toddler to clean his teeth better and longer. And that is great news for you!
Chances are your toddler's teeth aren’t getting properly cleaned while he is learning to brush on his own. And trying to take a toothbrush from a determined toddler is nearly impossible, so sometimes you may not be able to get in there and help him out each time. However, you do need to make him understand that you helping is part of the process. Taking turns with your child is a great way to let him practice on his own and then get a lesson session next time. For example, maybe you let him brush his teeth by himself in the morning, but at night you help him to make sure he goes to sleep with a clean mouth. Now when it comes to flossing, you will likely have to take the reins on that for while. It’s hard to work those little fingers!