What’s the best technique for teaching toddlers to brush their teeth?
Getting your toddler to brush their teeth can be hard enough, let alone training them to do a good enough job on their own. Find out how you can do it – the right way!
Come on Johnny, time to brush your teeth! *This is the part where you chase little Johnny around the house for the next 15 minutes trying to get him into the bathroom*.
Let’s face it, most toddlers hate brushing their teeth, and can you blame them? Why would you bother doing something so boring, that’s tastes gross and feels downright weird? I’d much rather go on an exciting adventure to discover the dragon hiding under the stair case or build my castle where I will be Queen and ruler of all the land!
Unfortunately for them, they will soon outgrow that Lego castle, discover the dragon is actually a juicer and be left with some pretty terrible tooth decay. So what is the best method for getting your toddler to brush their teeth? The good news is, as I’m sure you would now be aware, your toddler has are very talented in the art of mimic. Lumière Dental Centre Sydney recommends you use this to your advantage when it comes to teeth brushing o’clock.
Tips for training and ongoing or maintenance
- Your toddler will need general supervision up until the age of 6 before he/she can be left to do it on their own. It is recommended that an adult gives a final brush for approximately 30 seconds.
- Introduce your toddler to the twice-a-day ritual as early as possible
- Ensure the tooth brush and toothpaste is age specific
- Buy a similar coloured toothbrush to your own to encourage them doing the same as you or,
- Buy them an electric one – nothing more fun than a playing with a fancy gadget
- Make sure the bristles are soft so they don’t hurt their gums and replace them every 4 months
The 4 step process
- Sit your child on your lap and tilt back their head so it rests on against your chest. This will allow you to see all surfaces inside their mouth
- Move the brush in a gentle, circular motion on either sides of both the upper and lower mandibles spending about 5 seconds on every side of each tooth
- Then, move the toothbrush in a back and forth motion on the chewing surfaces to ensure you free any lodged food particles. Steps 2 and 3 should take approximately 3 minutes (if your child isn’t making a fuss).
- Once finished, encourage your child to spit the toothpaste into the sink. If any teeth are touching, you will need to floss between them.
Getting your toddler to the dentist
If you thought getting them to brush every night and morning was hard, wait until you try talk them into the dentist’s chair. Lumière Dental Centre Sydney understands that it can be frightening experience for a toddler. While we make every effort to provide a fun, friendly environment, the sound of a dental drill is sometimes enough to scare of the most bristly adults. To subdue their anxiety, we recommend your toddler to bring their favourite stuffed animal to keep them company.