Whether you decide to introduce dental care to your child at the onset of the first tooth or wait a few months until he reaches his toddler years, caring for your kid's teeth is always filled with its share of challenges. More often than not, dental hygiene is not one of his favorite things to think about, especially when there are so many other fun and exciting activities that he would rather be doing.
But there is hope for you and your child. With a little creativity on your part, your child can have a new favorite activity when you take the "blah" out of brushing his teeth.
Making it Personal
Involve your child from the moment you want to him to start brushing his teeth. Take him to the store and let him choose a toothbrush. So many children's toothbrushes have popular children's characters that they will love. We also bought our son a stool with his favorite cartoon character on it and told him it is just for standing on when it's time to brush his teeth. I also got him a special cup for rinsing and spitting (his favorite part).
Making it "Big Boy" or "Big Girl" Time!
Many toddlers like doing things on their own. So this is a great opportunity to give your child a little more independence when it comes to brushing his teeth. Let your child be as involved in the process as possible, from squeezing the toothpaste onto the toothbrush to rinsing it off and placing it back in the holder once he's finished.
With my toddler, I found he was much more receptive to the idea of brushing his teeth when he was able to do it himself and we always praised him for being a big boy afterward. Of course, you may have to step in and help finish off the job if your child is still new to the process and missed a few spots.
Bonding While Brushing
We all know that kids like to emulate their parents, so why not take advantage of this when it comes time to brushing your child's teeth? Rather than telling your child it's time to brush his teeth, ask him to join you so you can brush your teeth together. Brushing your teeth with your child can make it a fun activity. You can race to see who can brush their teeth the fastest (but make sure he still brushes thoroughly), or sing a funny song about cleaning your teeth. Just make it a fun bonding experience for you both and you'll find that your toddler will look forward to brushing even more.
Little creative ideas like these can make a huge difference for a child and make brushing teeth a lot more fun. Learn more about caring for your kid's teeth in the Colgate Oral Care resources.