So you've mastered your two-time daily toothbrush routine with your toddler and you think they're ready to graduate on to performing this human ritual themselves. For years they've been watching you prepare their toothbrush for them - wetting it in the sink, distributing the right amount of toothpaste and gently scrubbing at their growing teeth in little circular motions. They've probably even had some fun learning to spit into the sink and rise their mouth afterwards.
Now it's time for them to do it on their own and we have a few helpful tips that may help out in this process as they transition to caring for their own oral health.
1. Let Them Choose Their Toothbrush & Toothpaste
Taking a shopping trip with the kids and let them stroll down the hygiene aisle with you and pick out their toothbrush. This can be super beneficial for both them and helps them get excited for toothbrush time every day. They can feel a sense of ownership and responsibility for their toothbrush which will encourage them to use it too.
When it comes to toothpaste, mint may seem boring to kids so you can let them experiment with something more appealing to them. We love supplying different, refreshing flavors for our customers. For kids, our tangy, sweet Bubbly Berry toothpaste is a huge hit! Not only do kids love the flavor and genuinely enjoy toothbrush time, it goes a long way in supporting their oral health and hygiene.
Now just because they are loving their toothpaste doesn't mean you shouldn't keep an eye on how much they're using. A pea-sized amount of toothpaste is best for toddlers as they become more and more familiar with the tooth-brushing process.
2. Don't Rush It
Just like any other process, learning takes time so ensure that you aren't rushing your toddler while teaching them. This will not only be another way to enforce how long you should brush your teeth but it also won't make them feel anxious to perform or like it's something they have to squeeze in before bed time. Allowing proper time to be with your toddler during this time will only serve to benefit them and their understanding of the importance of oral hygiene.
3. Be A Good Example
Instead of holding them and their brush for them, transition them to brushing their teeth on their own beside you. Getting them a stool or chair to stand on next to you in the bathroom is a great way for them to continuing watching and learning while gaining some independence and new skill. This can also help if you plan on introducing a fun routine to help them learn more, like incorporating a tooth-brushing dance or song. This also helps them know that if brushing teeth is important to you, it should probably be important to them too. It sets a great example for ongoing oral health.
4. Play Music
Creating fun cues to indicate to your toddler that it's time to brush their teeth definitely helps move the process along and gets them more hyped to participate. Choosing a favorite song to sing in the mirror together while they're brushing their teeth is fun and can also help them measure how long they should be brushing your teeth for. There are a number of apps available for download that provide songs just for that purpose!
5. Give Them Kudos
Make sure you're showing your toddler the affection and praise they deserve when they successfully brush their own teeth, even if you're there with them for it. This builds their confidence and makes them feel more excited to do it again, hoping for the same results. It also makes them more open to criticism, if they're using too much toothpaste, or having a lot of foam and water fall down their chin.
Teaching your young ones to properly support their oral hygiene is just one more challenging yet fulfilling step in the parenting journey. We hope these tips help navigate the new, independent territory you and your toddler are entering! If you have any tips that helped you teach your toddler their toothbrush tricks, send them our way! We love hearing from you.