Help! my toddler doesn't want to brush his teeth
When it comes to brushing their teeth, most children go through a phase where they don’t want to uphold the practice. This phase can be quite stressful to you as a parent because as much as you would like them to adapt to the daily brushing routine you still don’t want to force them. Sometimes, no matter of how much you show and explain they just are not interested. If you are experiencing these difficulties in trying to train your child about brushing routine, this article is especially for you. Read on to gain useful tips that will help your child change their mind about dental care practices.
When your toddler doesn’t want to brush their teeth
Firstly please understand that sometimes, your child may have a legitimate reason to rebel the toothbrush but due to heightened emotions and sometimes confusion regarding the best way to express those reasons they end up throwing temper tantrums instead. To handle this situation effectively, it is important to ask some open-ended questions that will help you determine why your kid is not thrilled about brushing their teeth. Do this before laying down any house rules of eating or dental care to ensure that there’s adequate and effective communication between you and your child on the same.
Some appropriate questions include:
How do you feel when you think about brushing your teeth?
Why do you think I want you to brush your teeth?
Kindly explain how you feel while brushing your teeth.
What can I do to make the experience better for you?
Do you think brushing your teeth is helpful? If so, in what ways?
How will you keep your teeth healthy if you don’t take care of them?
What do you think I should do when you don’t want to brush your teeth?
As you engage in this exercise with your child, pay attention to what they are saying. Encourage them to share their experience and feelings with you by acknowledging any legitimate fears and concerns they have toward brushing their teeth. Pose follow-up questions to help figure out a solution to their problems. For example, if they tell you that brushing is painful, figure out why that is. Understand that getting to the bottom of your child’s dental care issues is the best way to find a solution that works for them and one that encourages them to brush.
When to start brushing baby’s teeth?
Dental care should begin as soon as the first tooth comes out. Sometimes parents may wonder why struggle to brush teeth that will eventually come out. The answer to that is easy, good dental. Besides, taking good care of your baby’s teeth starting form the moment the first tooth appears ensures a lifetime of dental health. At first, you can start cleaning them with a clean, soft, damp washcloth, gauze pad, or finger brush. Gently wipe clean your baby’s first tooth, gums, and front of the tongue after meals and before bed. It is advisable to use a moisture toothbrush and rive grain size toothpaste. If using toothbrush, make sure it is extremely soft with no more than a few rows of bristles. Once the toothbrush becomes rough around the edges, it’s always a sign that it needs to be replaced. Brushing your baby’s teeth starting as early as possible makes them stronger, which means that their permanent teeth will be strong too.
How to work with resistance in a fun and friendly way?
If your child simply refuses to brush their teeth as a personal preference, it will be quite challenging to solve the issue. At the end of the day, it is your responsibility as a parent to teach and instill in your children the importance of good dental care. As such, it’s okay to lay down a house rule to brush your teeth twice a day. Remember that at this young age, your child still needs you, so it’s vital that you supervise and set limits for them. However, your house doesn’t have to become a war zone. It will be much less painful both for you and your child if you add some fun to the teeth-brushing routine.
One way to do that would be setting up a reward system and following it. If your child brushes their teeth twice everyday, for instance, give them a small reward or several tiny rewards that lead up to a bigger reward. Having some conditions straight should make the practice much more effective. For example, you can let your kid know that they are not allowed to complain while brushing, and that each brushing session should last no less than 2 minutes.
It is also important to come down to your child’s level, especially if you really want them to overcome their fears and start looking forward to those dental hygiene sessions. For example, you can do such spontaneous things as singing silly songs about brushing teeth to popular or your child's favorite nursery rhymes. Sometimes engage in a game, such as I Spy, and have a dental care theme.
How to create a brushing routine that works?
Positive reinforcement always works wonders. Each time you see your child engaging in positive dental care practices, compliment them and let them know how happy it makes you to see them do it. Praise them for being a good, brave, and intelligent child for taking care of their teeth.
Music has always been known to be very therapeutic. It helps if you would play some music during brushing sessions to sooth and calm your child. Doing so would also add an enjoyable sensory component to the routine. Nowadays, we have access to musical toothbrushes. Your child presses play and starts brushing as soon as the music starts and finishes once it stops. You know your child will enjoy it; get them one to put a seal on that brushing routine agreement you have with them.
Finally, besides engaging in positive dental care practices it is important to see a dentist every now and then. Let your child know of any dental appointments to help them further realize the importance of good dental care. In fact, when making an appointment, in valve them so they know in advance and look forward to it. Having a family dentist would be nice because then your child would have the opportunity to forge a relationship with them.