We know that teaching your toddler about dental hygiene can be a difficult task but we’ve discovered a few secrets that could help your little one get to brushin’ and strutting into the dentist office like a champ!
- Introduce Dental Hygiene into Their Routine. Holding a child down to brush their teeth can be a traumatic experience for them so we suggest introducing the idea of brushing their teeth by incorporating it into their morning and nightly routine. Show them that his or her parents do it every day, give them a soft-bristle toothbrush (without toothpaste at first - some children don’t like the taste) and let them try to mimic you. It’s okay that they’re not doing a thorough job, you’re just introducing it - you can finish up the brushing job after they’re finished.
- Add Rewards. Incentives are always a good idea when trying to instill good dental hygiene into your child’s routine. They automatically relate brushing their teeth with fun rewards so it makes it easier for them to start doing it themselves. Offer two stories at bedtime instead of one, some extra coloring time, or playing a fun game on your phone.
- Introduce the Dentist Office Early On. Many question when they should make their child’s first dentist appointment. According to The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, a child's first visit should be when the first tooth appears, no later than age one to two. The first initial visit is about introducing them to the environment and the staff in a positive way, building trust, letting the dentist examine their gums, teeth, any bite issues they may have, and answering questions you might have about dental hygiene for your toddler. It’s also important to continue regular 6 month checkups with the dentist to foresee any new cavities or underlying issues.
- Leave it to Alexa. What do kids love most? Playing! If you make brushing their teeth into a fun game, they will learn to love it and believe that it’s FUN! Let them brush their bear’s teeth or their doll’s teeth, even your teeth! It reverses the rolls and gets them more comfortable to the idea of brushing their own teeth. You can even use Amazon Alexa to help kids brush their teeth! When it’s time for your family to brush teeth, say “Alexa, start Chompers.” A podcast by gimletmedia.com, Chompers will play 2 minute episodes that consist of jokes, stories, fun songs and more both morning and night when your kids need to brush.