Teaching your toddlers to do anything can be infuriating enough. Teaching them to take care of their teeth? Well, that’s a whole other endeavor in itself. Most toddlers don’t want to get anywhere near a bathroom, let alone over a sink with brush in hand. But, good news, it doesn’t have to be like that. Here’s some advice that can help get them enthusiastic when it comes to keeping their teeth in as a good as shape as a freshly fitted diaper.
When is it Time?
Given the research that says that by the time a large chunk of children attend kindergarten, many of them are already suffering tooth decay, some would argue a time couldn’t come soon enough when it comes to their toddlers taking care of their own teeth. And sure, those might only be baby teeth, but setting up healthy practice and habits early in their lives is one way of ensuring they keep it going – something they’ll hopefully thank you for later!
Knowing when to teach your toddler how to brush their teeth is really down to your own judgement as a parent. If you think it’s time and they are taking a large amount of interest in what you do as an adult, perhaps it’s time to let them watch you brushing your own teeth while you explain to them what exactly it is that you’re doing.
Taking Things Forward
As children like to copy their parents, one way of getting them to take care of their teeth is, after having them watch you, giving them a try for themselves by placing a small amount of paste on a brush especially designed for toddlers mouths.
Make sure you pay attention to how they angle the brush so as they don’t do any damage to themselves and guide their hands forwards and backwards if they let you so as they know exactly what to do.
When you notice them beginning to master the basics you know it’s time to hold back on your own demonstrations and instead encourage them and remind them of the importance of doing so.
Sowing the seeds of the importance of body care are really what you’re aiming at when it comes to encouraging your toddler to taking on their own brushing duties. Explaining as basically as you can why it’s important to do so can really help understand their reasoning as to why it’s something people are expected to do and also enable them to develop a little bit of their own autonomy.
Scouting for a good dentist early, such as the Children’s Dentistry of Chattanooga, is also hugely important when it comes to solidifying good habits and having your children take an interest in their own dental health. You’ll want to make sure a dentist has experience with children and shares a similar philosophy to yourself when it comes to encouraging your toddler to care for their teeth. One that is warm and welcoming can go a long way in making your child comfortable too.