Getting Toddlers to Brush: 6 PRO TIPS

This may come as no surprise to most parents but kids do not like to brush their teeth.  An age old battle ensues most mornings in homes across the world, as parents try to coax their sleepy children out of their warm beds, and into cold bathrooms, for that dreaded but essential routine of brushing their teeth.

While it is almost guaranteed that children under 10 years old do not brush correctly unless some morning micromanagement occurs, it is certainly much more difficult with easily distracted toddlers.

To help parents of toddlers succeed and even possibly make brushing enjoyable, we bring you six, tried and tested pro tips.

1. SIT DOWN 

A seated child has one less thing to coordinate. Bringing a kids chair into the bathroom and naming it the “brushing chair”  or the “brushing throne” will create a brushing vicinity that will add to the routine.

2. KEEP A TIMER FOR EACH PART OF THE ROUNTINE 

Follow the same routine every day which may include counting upper brush strokes, lower brush strokes, front and back brush strokes. A child will develop the mental muscle necessary to imprint it on the subconscious mind. Once this happens, brushing becomes automatic.

3. REMAIN IN THE BATHROOM WITH YOUR CHILD  

To ensure your child learns early on how to brush correctly, it is essential for a parent to be present for the entire brushing routine, at very least for the first few weeks.

4. DO NOT SHAME CHILDREN WHEN THEY GET IT WRONG  

Refrain from raising your voice or getting agitated when children get it wrong. Learn to take a break, and try again. Try the routine numerous times a day if time allows.

5. INCENTIVISE BRUSHING 

 Reward complete routines with screen time, toys or whatever you can. Feel no shame in giving the occasional sweet treat, even though such a reward constitutes the height the irony, a parent must do what they need to win this tremendous battle.

6. CELEBRATE WINS 

At the end of every brushing routine, have your family stand around to applaud your toddler as if they won an Oscar. Make a big deal of the a completed routine and shower them with complements of how great and bright their smiles look.

Article credit: Yemesh Moodley

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