This is a compensated shop from #CollectiveBias for Tom’s of Maine and their #NaturalGoodness Campaign. All opinions and ideas for ho to teach a toddler to brush their teeth are my own.
Blood curdling screams, that’s how trying to get teeth brushed went for many nights. Some nights it still goes that way, but we have learned how to teach a toddler to brush their teeth after trial and error. While some nights I feel like I should have a straight jacket on hand (only kidding), here are a few of our best tips to teach kids proper dental hygiene habits.
Effective ways to teach a toddler to brush their teeth and proper dental hygiene
Model teeth brushing as a parent
One of the very best things we can do to help our children learn to brush their teeth is to let them see us do it. If it’s common place, then it’s not as scary. Even if they don’t like it, or it bothers them a bit, they know it’s part of everyone’s routine and it’s commonplace. In fact, my husband and daughter spent time holding hands brushing teeth together for quite some time and it made that time easier on her!
Involve your toddler in the shopping trip for hygiene products
By involving toddlers in shopping for toothpaste and toothbrushes, they learn that everybody brushes their teeth. They also learn how important it is and it gives them ownership in the process. We went to Walmart together and picked out toothpaste for her and got Tom’s of Maine. She was able to locate her own tube because it matched the logo of my ownSimpl
Make the Sink Accessible
It sounds like such a simple tip, but it makes a world of difference. Especially as we are encouraging independence in our toddler, the simple fact that she can reach the sink and everything she needs on her own makes a huge difference in helping her actually want to brush her teeth.
A “good job”, “way to go”, or “look how great you’re doing” help build confidence and self esteem. Being encouraging while you teach a toddler to brush their teeth helps them understand proper hygiene because they’re learning the correct actions and steps and they can feel like it’s something they have mastered. Commenting on how great it is they brushed their tongue all by themselves or that they got ALL the way back to their molars can make them feel empowered and want to do it again.
Choose a fun Toddler Toothbrush
Another really simple tip is to choose the odd ball tooth brush or something interesting. It doesn’t have to be expensive, or it can be. There are electronic ones that play music, one with suction cups at their base, other with characters on them, and all sorts of fun and wacky designs. Choose one that appeals to your toddler!
What has worked for teaching your toddler to brush their teeth?
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Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!