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Helping Your Toddler with Brushing Their Teeth

by T Akery | April 16th, 2013 | Infants/Toddlers

toothpasteNo matter when your toddler developed their teeth, taking care of those baby teeth is still important. As a toddler, they can help participate in oral care. While it isn’t always a fun time and there will certainly be days of protest and tantrums, toddlers should start learning the basic art of caring for their teeth. So, here are some tips to help you and your toddler on the road to good oral care.

Let them choose their toothbrush and toothpaste. But instead of creating chaos at the store by overwhelming them with choices, pick two or three different ones and bring them home. Then let your toddler choose their favorites. This will encourage them to use their toothpaste.

Take lots of time to help them when it is time to brush their teeth. It will take lots of practice and patience in order to help them develop the fine motor skills needed to do the job. So, it is okay if they want to tackle the job themselves and it takes longer to do it then you would.

Make sure you are supervising the amount of toothpaste put on their toothbrush. Yes, it is fun to squeeze the tube but you do need to watch how much they are using. Toddlers do inadvertently swallow some amounts of toothpaste rather than spitting it out. So, supervision on this score is a must.

Take some time to make tooth brushing fun. Play a favorite song that runs the same amount of time they are supposed to brush. If your toddler thinks it is fun, then they will want to do it all the time.

Recognize when your toddler has reached their limits. Even though you want them to brush their teeth everyday, some days it really isn’t worth the fight with a grouchy toddler. It is fine to skip a day every once in a while. There are just some times that their teeth won’t get brushed. The key is not to stress out over it because they missed a few times.

Dentists are scary and a first time visit is especially scary. So, approach the dentist as you would a doctor’s visit. Try and put a positive spin on the visit. Go at a time when they are fed, wide awake and ready for a new adventure. Avoid appointment times during nap time or after a really stressful activity. Plan it on a day where it is the only thing you have going on for the most successful visit.

Brushing the teeth is an important habit to develop during the toddler years. Even though their baby teeth will eventually fall out, it is important to develop these habits early so they have a lifetime of good oral health.

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