For almost two years, you have been holding the toothbrush for him. Because he is now a toddler, it’s time to pass the torch and train your little tot to brush his teeth by himself.
Ever since he had his baby teeth, you have probably been telling him to open his mouth wide while you brush his increasing number of tiny pearls. And by now, he probably learned the brushing routine. He had seen you how to wet the toothbrush, watched the amount of toothpaste to squeeze out, and even tried his best to spit into the sink. At this point, you may decide to let him be independent, to give your young one the responsibility of scrubbing and cleaning his own teeth.
However, even if you are ready to give up control of the morning and bedtime ritual of tooth brushing, your toddler may not be so keen to do it on his own. If he resists, try this tooth brushing training tips to ease him into doing it.
- Allow your toddler to choose the supplies. Bring your child to the store and allow him to pick his own toothpaste and toothbrush. Cartoon characters on the toothbrush’s handle can make all the difference in persuading your toddler to scrub his pearls. Allow him also to choose the toothpaste too, so that he is sure to like the flavour.
- Take turns. If you are anxious your toddler’s teeth are not having properly scrubbed while he is learning, let him do the morning session while you take the evening. In this way, he will get practice brushing during the morning and then have a reminder or a review of the techniques before bedtime. Nighttime is also another good opportunity for him to learn how to floss before brushing. Flossing is another thing you want to want to teach him at this point.
- Brush next to him. Do it together. Get in on the action and brush together. Showing a bit of camaraderie will encourage him to brush longer and give his teeth more efficient, more thorough cleaning.
- Offer an electric toothbrush. Consider giving your kid a battery-powered toothbrush. Its novelty – the spinning motion - may inspire your child to brush his teeth. On top of that, there are spin brushes that has a timer, giving a signal that two minutes are up or one that plays a song.
- Lower your expectations. Your tot won’t be able to reach those tiny crevices or cleaning the gum lines just yet. But don’t fret. Instilling healthy habit is more important than focusing on the technique. Besides, the more he’ll practice, the faster he will improve.
- Ask your dentist. You can ask for help from your personal pediatric dentist. Ask her to praise your child for brushing his teeth by himself. Getting the thumbs-up from a professional in white jacket will inspire your toddler to carry on.