Oh the joys of brushing teeth :) I shouldn’t complain because 80% of the time Piper cooperates with brushing her teeth — and I think it’s because we started practicing at such an early age and have always tried to make it fun. I thought I’d share a few tips from our experience today!
As soon as your baby has teeth you can start brushing with water and a soft toothbrush! We used this training toothpaste from age 1-2. At age 2 you can start using a pea sized portion of toddler toothpaste with or without fluoride (consult your pediatrician or dentist about what choice may be best for your child). We love Tom’s Of Maine Silly Strawberry now. I found it was really helpful to start with water and then the training toothpaste so Piper got used to the routine.
I always tried to keep the routine as quick as possible when Piper was just starting out with brushing her teeth. We tried to make it a natural part of the evening and morning routine and not put too much emphasis on it.
Some days Piper just doesn’t want to brush her teeth and I don’t fight it. I let it go because I don’t want her to have negative feelings about brushing her teeth and me forcing her to do so!
We frequently brush our teeth together and Piper loves this! She acts like it’s some kind of treat! It’s also a great way to show your child the proper way to brush. Most of the time I’ll brush Piper’s teeth to start and then let her brush them herself.
There are several ways to make the experience more fun! We listen to the Silly Strawberry teeth brushing song and Elmo always helps! Sometimes Piper likes to “brush” her baby or stuffed animals teeth (this works particularly well if she’s not feeling the idea of brushing her own).
Sometimes we brush teeth in our bathroom (as shown in these pictures) and Piper always gets excited, it’s just another way to make it more enjoyable for her if she’s resisting.
Toddlers LOVE choices — so let them make choices about brushing teeth. Let them pick out their own toothbrush(es), let them pick which one they’ll use, which bathroom they’ll brush in.