4 Ways to Teach Toddlers Dental Hygiene
Toddlers are at the perfect age to start doing their part to take care of their teeth. While you will still need to follow up their efforts with some extra brushing, you can lay the foundation now for a lifetime of good oral hygiene habits. Now that your little one is excited about doing things on their own, you can use these tips to help them take care of their adorable little smile. Here are 4 ways to teach toddlers dental hygiene.
Brush Your Teeth Together
Your little one enjoys mimicking everything that you do. You can encourage them to brush their teeth by doing your oral hygiene care routine together. You can even make it a competition to see who can brush their teeth the longest or get their back teeth the best.
Start Dental Visits Early
Young children should see the dentist for the first time by the time that they turn one. Your child uses these visits to build a rapport with their dental team that makes going for checkups and treatments less scary. These early visits make going to dental appointments enjoyable so that your child develops a positive association with take care of their teeth.
Make Oral Hygiene Fun
Brushing your toddler’s teeth doesn’t have to be boring. Try giving them a fun toddler-size toothbrush with their favorite color or character on it. You can also play a song that lasts for about two-minutes to keep them brushing. Making this just another enjoyable part of the day helps your toddler decide that taking care of their teeth is normal.
Have Them Brush a Stuffed Toy’s Teeth
Your child may also enjoy pretending like they are the parent. Find a stuffed animal with teeth, and give your child an old toothbrush. They can then pretend to brush their toy’s teeth while you remind them of how to use a good technique. This is also a great time to talk about flossing and let your child practice using the string or pick type. Practicing on their stuffed animal is less intimidating, and this is another tip that turns dental care into a fun activity.
During the toddler stage, your child will develop the majority of their primary teeth. These first teeth are the perfect place to start building strong oral health habits that your child will use for the rest of their life. Keep in mind that your child’s dental visits are a great time to ask questions about their oral hygiene, so be sure to ask questions of a professional anytime you are not sure of how to handle a new dental challenge.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan