Brushing teeth - Toddler
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. You should use just a pea-size amount of a fluoride toothpaste or a non-fluoride toothpaste until your child is able to spit it out (too much fluoride can stain their teeth).
For most toddlers, getting them to brush their teeth can be quite a challenge.
Some suggestions for making tooth brushing less of a battle can include:
- letting him 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).
Other tips can include getting a dentist kit that he can play with or read some children's books about tooth brushing.
Or 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 him understand the importance of brushing, it can be sometimes fun and helpful to let him eat or drink something that will 'stain' his 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.
Ultimately though, this is not something he can get out of doing. Regular brushing is very important to his dental health. If you are still having problems, then a visit to a Pediatric Dentist can be helpful.
Keep in mind that most 'children's toothpaste' brands, such as Barney toothpaste, are fluoridated, and you only want to use a very small pea size amount of toothpaste. Swallowing too much toothpaste with fluoride can lead to staining of the teeth (fluorosis).