Now your child has their first toothbrush, it’s time to make sure they know how to use it! Of course, they’ll have opinions on how they want to brush their teeth. It’s important to help guide them in the right direction, though. Fortunately, this is something the two of you should do together!
Here are a few ways that you both can be proactive together and learn a few good habits along the way – together:
It’s Never Too Early Around age 2 your child will start showing an interest in brushing their teeth with you. They might not be able to control the toothbrush for very long, but it’s good to start getting them into the habit early. One way to work with them is by taking turns. You brush a few times and then they get to have a turn. They’ll be spending time with you and also learning how to brush their teeth without even noticing.
Make it a Game! Once your child is older and can brush on their own the trick is getting them to do it. Games can be really helpful. To start, they can brush your teeth. You can pick out some music together and try brushing in time with the beats. Once the song is over, you’re all done! There are even apps with characters to help encourage children from start to finish.
Brushing is Rewarding If games aren’t enough, setting up a reward system will give your child something to aim for every week. Both of you can draw up a path on a board or piece of paper, making two spaces a day for the morning and at night. Each time they brush their teeth they can put a sticker on that day. If all the spaces are filled by the end of the week, whatever prize you’ve picked for them is theirs!
Take Your Time It can be easy to have too much fun brushing your teeth. Going a little long is not the worst thing, but it’s best to stick to a 2-minute minimum. Moving up to 3 minutes would be even better (1 and ½ minutes on both the top and bottom teeth) and get your child used to brushing for the perfect amount of time.
If your child is having fun while doing it, they may just end up more excited about it than you are!
Smilestones Photo Tip: Try to capture the moment where you and your child are together, brushing yours, or each other’s, teeth! You’re looking at each other and you’re both having fun. Then enter at https://www.teethfirstri.org/smilestones/!