How to Brush a Toddler's Teeth

31 August 2012

How do I get my toddlers to allow me brush their teeth?

That's what I found myself researching last night. Thus far it's been a struggle getting the twins to allow me brush their teeth. I really wasn't interested in making an unpleasant event out of this so I turned to Mr Google and Master YouTube. This is the video I found most helpful

After this, I got both girls to stand (almost) still without fighting or complaining for 30 seconds each while I brushed their teeth. This morning we extended that time a bit. Here are a few things that contributed to our successful teeth brushing
  1. I let the girls watch the YouTube video with me. They were fascinated by the concept of a mom brushing her toddler's teeth
  2. Sing a song while brushing. I tried the song the woman in the video was singing but it didn't work. Since the girls already know the words "brush" and "teeth". I just chanted "brush your teeth" to a random tune in my head
  3. Start early - I started giving the girls toothbrushes from their first birthday. They'd nibble on them for a few minutes and that was good enough for me. I was particularly happy with the MAM Learn to Brush Set as they had a small bristle head plus a gum massaging tip at the non-bristle end. When the bristles started coming off, I couldn't find them again to buy in Calgary so I switched to a generic toddler brush.
  4. In the last couple of months, I let them see me brushing. They quickly caught on to the concept of moving the brush around your mouth just like mommy does
Numbers 3 and 4 in the list above created the familiarity that made it easier for numbers 1 and 2 to be successful. Dental hygiene WIN!

Extra Tip: Water is the last thing the girls drink before bedtime. The thinking is that it rinses out food remnants and sugar from their mouth so those don't sit in there overnight and create stanky breath. Toddler mamas, any dental hygiene magic bullets or working tips you'd like to share? Please do! 

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