4 Tips to Teach Your Toddler to Brush Their Teeth

April 14 2021 by Mills Haven Dental

4 Tips to Teach Your Toddler to Brush Their Teeth - Mills Haven Dental

Your little baby is now a toddler, and you might be wondering if it’s time to start letting them brush their own teeth. The good news is that you’ve already been teaching them how to take care of their teeth, whether you’ve realized it or not. For years, they’ve watched you perform the teeth cleaning ritual: from wetting to rinsing that toothbrush.

However, many children resist brushing their teeth-especially when it’s time for them to hold the toothbrush in their own tiny hands. If you’re struggling to get your kid to brush their teeth, we want to help.

We have 4 tips to help your toddler clean their teeth.

#1 Make It Family Time

Kids love to mimic their parents, and we know that they watch the adults in their life very closely. Try making your morning and bedtime routine a family affair with everyone-adults and kids alike-gathered at the sink.

By brushing together, your toddler will learn how to properly brush their own teeth, just by watching you! You might even have some habits that you're not aware of anymore, like brushing in small circles, starting at the gums and moving to the edge of your teeth, and giving your tongue a good scrub.

#2 Involve Their Friends

Your kiddo might be more inclined to brush their teeth if other children are doing it too. Talk to fellow parents in your life and ask if they’d be willing to take this next step with your family.

Here are some ways that different households can do this together:

#3 Brushing Can Be Fun

Make Brushing Teeth Fun

Do your best to make brushing their teeth a blast! We have two suggestions for you to try:

  1. Let your kid pick out their own supplies, like their toothbrush and toothpaste. You could even surprise them with a themed set from their favourite TV show. Paw Patrol, anyone?
  2. Get them to practice on their stuffed animals! For the first little while, your kiddo may have trouble grasping their toothbrush (even the kid-friendly ones). By practicing on their toys, they can develop the motor skills needed to do a good job.

#4 Don’t Lose Focus

Many parents get concerned that their toddler isn't doing the best job at cleaning their own teeth. It’s natural to worry that your kid’s oral health is suffering during the learning process.

Just remember: the goal is to have your child embrace dental hygiene habits.

If your kid is struggling to do a great job at brushing, you don’t have to go "all in" immediately. Maybe they do the first minute of brushing and you take over for the last 60 seconds. Maybe the morning routine is your kid’s time to shine, but you’re in charge of night duty to make sure they get a good clean.

However, while you're teaching your kid to brush, remember that it’s important to have regular visits to the dentist. Your dentist will be able to support the mission for your kid to be a master brusher.

Contact the Mills Haven Dental team for your child’s next appointment.