For most toddlers, getting them to brush their teeth can be quite a challenge. Once your child’s teeth begin erupting, you can begin cleaning them by wiping them with a moist washcloth. As your child gets more teeth, you can begin to use a soft child’s toothbrush for brushing teeth.
The consequences of not following a daily teeth-cleaning routine are better avoided. Cavities, bad breath and yellowing teeth can be painful, are not hygienic and do not add to your personality. What they do add up to are expensive dentist bills.
Some suggestions for making tooth brushing less of a battle can include:
letting your child brush your teeth at the same time
letting him pick out a few toothbrushes with his favorite characters and giving him a choice of which one he wants to use each time (this will give him some feeling of control over the situation)
let him brush his own teeth first (you will likely have to also do it yourself though).
You can also get a dentist kit that he can play with or read some children’s books about tooth brushing. You can also have everyone brush their teeth at the same time and have ‘races,’ or just letting him observe that you brush your teeth too can be helpful.
To help your child understand the importance of brushing, it can be sometimes fun and helpful to let your child eat or drink something that will ‘stain’ the teeth temporarily, and then let him brush them clean.
It can also be a good idea to create a ‘tooth brushing routine’ that can include playing some music, getting things set up, etc. And stick to the same routine each day.
Remember that every time you let your child get away with not brushing his teeth, you are weakening your own authority.