Mother and Baby

Turn Your Toddler Into A Toothbrushing Pro

Caring for your child’s teeth can be tricky, especially during the wriggly toddler years. But with a few clever techniques you can keep his pearlies sparkling white

While your tot may be happy to suck toothpaste off a brush twice a day, how do you actually get in there and make sure his teeth are properly clean?

Play copycat

Clean your teeth first and then let him try to copy you. Show him how you brush by doing small circular movements, rather than brushing side to side.

Let him go toothbrush shopping

Choosing a battery-operated brush with a favourite cartoon character can help win him round to teeth-cleaning sessions.

Do it in sections

Encourage him to concentrate on one section of his teeth at a time, rather than random brushing all over. And make sure he cleans for long enough – a good guide is to sing happy birthday (slowly) once for the top teeth and once for the bottom teeth.

Overdo the praise

When he cleans them well, make sure you give him masses of praise for being such a big boy, and tell him how pleased the dentist will be.

Use a sticker chart

Try setting up a wall chart with a sticker for every time he cleans his teeth well. After 10 stickers, he gets a small toy or an outing with mummy (no sweets obvs!)

Change toothepaste

If he’s making a fuss, he might not like your choice of toothpaste. Let him choose another one – but remember only use a smear of fluoride toothpaste, or a pea-sized amount if your child is three year or older.

Visit the dentist

Even when your child is only just toddling, most dentists will be happy to see him to help get him used to the process of having his teeth checked. It can also help to have another adult with authority telling your toddler all about the importance of cleaning his teeth. The sticker at the end of the appointment helps too!

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