Looking for ways to make brushing teeth easy for your fussy toddler? Read on
We all know the relevance of oral hygiene and how it is closely related to the overall health of the child. For many parents, including me, teaching kids dental hygiene is nothing less than a daily battle. But its a mission we have to accomplish. Tooth decay is one of the most common diseases among kids. In fact poor oral health has been linked to gum diseases, infections and even speech delays. So it’s all the more important to take proper steps to inculcate good brushing habits in kids right from an early stage.
Many children find brushing teeth an unpleasant experience. They scream and cry when it comes to brushing their pearly whites. My kids too used to resist a lot initially. We started when they were 1 year old and it was no less than a challenge to make them do something that they completely detested. I, then, tried a few tips and looked for some fun ways to make the entire activity easy and pleasant for them.
Here are some tips and tricks that worked for me-
As a first step I started brushing my own teeth in front of them. In fact on weekends, my husband, me and kids all brush together making it a family activity. This helps to ‘normalize’ the act of brushing and gives kids a message that it’s something we all do daily as a habit.
2. Videos and Books on Brushing Teeth
I read them books and stories that talk about the relevance of brushing teeth. There are a lot of fun rhymes and videos on the internet. Kids usually mimic what they see in the video and it helps them to get used to the entire idea of brushing.
3. Brushing Games
The otherwise boring task of brushing teeth could become all the more interesting when done in a playful manner. We usually play some fun games while brushing. Sometimes we dance, or play the game of who could make the most bubbles. Sometimes I tell them that there are bugs hiding inside our mouth and we need to chase them. Creative, isn’t it?
4. Brushing in Front of Mirror
We usually brush our teeth together looking at ourselves in the mirror. And while doing so we make funny noises like ‘eehhh’ (to brush the front teeth) ‘aaahh (for the back ones)’. Have you tried this? It’s quite a lot of fun!
5. Pretend Play
Kids learn a lot through pretend play. So a lot of our pretend games include brushing the doll’s teeth. We have a small toy toothbrush for the doll as well. I usually use this opportunity to make them understand the relevance of dental hygiene and what could be the consequences if they don’t brush daily.
6. Colourful Brush and Flavoured Paste
Buying some attractive toothbrush and trying flavored toothpaste help a lot. We have different colour toothbrush at home and I allow A&A choose their brush for the day. Sometimes they even pick two brushes and I don’t stop them.
7. Keeping It Short Initially
In the beginning, keep the entire brushing session short. Do not force the child if he/she resists a lot. I let A&A brush their own teeth for the first few minutes. They are allowed to chew the brush, play with water, spit and create mess. Once they are done I offer to help. I usually tell them that now it’s mumma’s turn to brush and chase the mouth monsters. In case they resist, I try distracting by letting them hold a brush in their hands or share some interesting story.
Choosing the right toothpaste for kids
As parents we usually get bothered when we see dollops of toothpaste being consumed by the kids. More than brushing teeth, children enjoy licking the toothpaste. And stopping them from doing so means making them aversive to the entire act of brushing. So it is wise to use a toothpaste that is natural and safe for kids. There are many toothpastes available in the market that claim to be fluoride free and SLS free, however not all are made of organic ingredients.
One toothpaste that is hundred percent natural and that I use for my kids is Natural Berry Blast Toothpaste by Mamaearth. It is formulated with high quality ingredients like xylitol, aloe vera and stevia and is certified safe for kids. It cleanses the teeth perfectly, removes plaque formation, reduces bacterial regrowth and provides maximum protection against cavities.
I like the fact that it is gentle on the delicate gums of the kids and is free from harsh chemicals, parabens, phthalate or petrochemicals. My kids love its fruity flavour and I don’t have to panic much if they end up swallowing a lot of paste. All priced at Rs 149 for a 50g tube, this toothpaste is worth a buy.
Oral hygiene in kids shouldn’t be overlooked. And as important it is to start early, it is equally important to start right. Hope these tips and tricks would help you to make the entire task of brushing teeth fun and easy for your child.
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Also Read: Raising Independent Kids