As soon as a few teeth start to pop up, your toddler should be brushing their pearly whites twice a day. Consistent brushing will minimize the chance of cavity development and help to instill proper dental hygiene habits that they will be able to use with success through adulthood. It can be tough to get toddlers interested in dental care, as they almost always seem to have something more interested to do with their time. You can use the following tips and tricks to make taking care of teeth fun for your toddler and encourage proper dental care from the get go:
Have Daily Bathroom Parties
Turn time spent brushing and flossing into a bathroom party every night. Play a little music, dim the lights or use candles for light, and take turns coming up with new dance moves while the other takes care of their teeth. Mix things up once in awhile by replacing your dance routine with a game like 20 questions, or story telling. The idea is to make sure that brush and floss time is entertaining for your little one whenever possible.
Decorate Your Toothbrushes
Toothbrushes that come already decorated for kids tend to have a higher price tag than your basic options, so consider decorating your own at home. Decorating toothbrushes at home will be more engaging for your child than bringing home brushes that are already decked out. Your toddler can create their own unique design that will likely make them want to use and show off their toothbrush regularly.
Use paints and glues that are non-toxic, as well as accessories such as yarn, glitter, and foil paper to decorate your toothbrushes with. Seal the brush ends of your toothbrushes before starting the decoration process to ensure that no substances get on them while being handled.
Encourage with Rewards
Using a reward system to recognize when your toddler is doing well with their dental care regimen is a great way to keep them motivated to continue until brushing and flossing becomes a natural habit for them. Your reward system should minimize the need to nag when brushing time comes around too. Simply hang a calendar on the wall in your bathroom and every time your child brushes or flosses during the day without having to be asked, let them place a star sticker on the date that corresponds to the day they're being recognized for. Once a specific number of stars have been accumulated, present your little one with a new storybook about taking care of teeth, new colorful dental floss, or an educational outing of some kind.
With the help of these tips and tricks, you shouldn't find it hard to encourage your toddler to maintain healthy dental hygiene habits as they grow up. For further assistance, contact a local dentist.