Learning new things is always an adventure, both for the teacher and the learner. When you’re a proud parent trying to teach your children new things, there’s always the question of how to do it the right way. Teaching your kids to brush their teeth is just like teaching them anything else and requires a lot of patience and creativity.
My toddler loves to watch everything going on around her, especially whatever I am doing. This is great because she is learning from my example. I first realized that she was ready to attempt brushing her teeth when I found her chewing on my toothbrush one morning. She was one year old at the time and barely had any teeth, but I figured that good teeth health habits have to begin early.
Whenever you feel they are ready to try and brush their teeth is up to you. They’ll know if they are ready or not, either by trying to hold the toothbrush you give them or by throwing it on the floor and walking away. Kids are great at getting their opinions across!
I held the toothbrush at first and scrubbed at her front teeth while reassuring her by explaining what I was doing to her mouth. You don’t want to use regular toothpaste because they will eat it. Everything that has been in their mouths up until this point has usually been food, so they will naturally try to swallow the toothpaste as well. Regular toothpaste has chemicals in in which can make your child sick, so I just used regular water at first until she got the hang of the whole teeth brushing experience.
The next step was to buy a toothbrush just for her. We went to Wal-Mart and I let her pick out her favorite. They have all sorts of cute little cartoon characters on most of them, but she opted for a yellow one that lights up. Then I got some Aquafresh kid’s toothpaste that tastes like bubble gum. This toothpaste is made especially for your children because it won’t hurt them if it is swallowed. I even like to use it because it’s so tasty!
You might want to continue letting them experiment with your toothbrush, but if they are really interested, I’d give them some independence and invest in their own toothbrush. This makes your child feel important because they have something all to themselves. They know the difference between something that is yours that you share and something that is theirs alone.
It took a few tries, but now my daughter and I brush our teeth together every morning. I put a drop of toothpaste on her toothbrush and then she happily scrubs her front teeth like a pro! I even hold her up to the sink afterwards so she can rinse! She loves being all grown up like her mommy and I love watching her learn.
Sounds easy, right? Well don’t be discouraged if your child doesn’t want to jump into teeth brushing right away, each child is different. My daughter has always been an eager learner, so teaching her to clean her teeth wasn’t much of a problem. If they aren’t ready, don’t worry about it. Just let them watch you during your morning routine and make it look like you’re having a great time. They just might surprise you one day when you catch them scrubbing away at their teeth with your toothbrush.