There are always going to be those parents who are lucky enough to have toddlers that seem to have been born with a natural incline towards taking care of their teeth. And then there are the other ones—the parents with kicking and screaming, spitting and biting toddlers who look at the toothbrush like it is some kind of alien when you try to brush their teeth. If you happen to be in the unlucky second category, just keeping your child's teeth brushed may prove to be one of the biggest challenges you face with your toddler. Here are four simple and creative ways to get your toddler interested in dental care.
1. Make Cleaning Teeth a Game—Little ones love to play simple games, such as copycat. Head off into the bathroom announcing that you want to play a game. Brush your teeth along with your toddler and say the rule is they have to do everything exactly the way that you do.
2. Treat the Toothbrush Like a Toy—If the toothbrush seems to be a big part of the problem when you are trying to get your toddler to either brush or let you brush their teeth, it may be time to invest in something different. Tell your youngster that you are going to let them pick out a new "toy" toothbrush at the store. From toothbrushes that rattle to those that vibrate and even play music, there are a lot of fun choices that can make the average toothbrush look even more dull and boring. The idea is, if your child is happy about handling the toothbrush on their own, they may not mind so much when it is time to brush.
3. Invest In Educational Materials—Dental-themed coloring books, fun videos, and even posters that may be designed to hand out at a dentist's office can usually be found online. Even though all of this stuff may seem like it would not attract your toddler's attention, giving your child access to dental educational materials and gradually teaching them about taking care of their teeth may be all that it takes for your little one to get over anxiety of the toothbrush.
4. Take a Trip to the Dentist—It is easy to underestimate how much knowledge a little one can take in at an early age, but even just a trip to the dentist for a checkup may help your toddler get over problems with brushing. Find a good kid-friendly dentist who is willing to teach your child the basics of dental care. You may be surprised at just how much of a difference one visit can make in the attitude of your child about taking care of their teeth.
For further ideas, contact a dentist like Ann L Ortega DDS.