For such little things, teeth can cause your little one a lot of pain and discomfort as they start to grow and teething starts. But from when that first little white tooth pops through, it’s a good time to start getting them into the swing of brushing their teeth and practicing good dental care.
With a wiggly, crying and easily distracted little one this may be a harder task than it sounds. Let’s face it, brushing teeth is hardly anyone’s favourite task of the day. But we think if you can add a little sprinkle of fun and imagination into the routine it can make it a much easier task for everyone involved. Those little pearly whites will be sparkling in no time.
When should I start brushing?
Your baby’s primary teeth may only be temporary and later replaced by their permanent teeth, but this doesn’t mean they are any less important. Teeth brushing can begin as soon as that first tooth makes it’s appearance.
Even before you spot any teeth, it can be a good idea to get the dental practice in early. Dentist recommend cleaning baby’s gums and tongue after feedings to help fight bacterial growth with a soft cloth or a silicone finger brush. This will also help kick start a healthy oral hygiene habit early on, making it easier later on.
How to make it fun
We get it, trying to brush your little one’s teeth can be a chore and a half with them not enjoying it at all. Bringing a little playfulness and fun to the routine during brushing can go a long way to make your little one enjoy it much more and in turn, more fun for you too. Less tears and tantrums, more smiles and sparkling little teeth.
Let them explore
Everyone knows the drill, you give your little one something to hold and it is heading towards their mouth in a matter of seconds before you can even blink. Well this could be the perfect time to use this to your advantage. Let your little one get accustomed and familiar with their new toothbrush by letting them play with it and explore it in their own unique way. Once they are more familiar with the object and have giving it their own testing, it might be easier to encourage them to let them use it on them properly.
Small steps at first by letting them chew and chomp on it is a great way to get them used to the feel and texture of the toothbrush and how it feels in their mouth.
Let the games begin
We ultimately want to make brushing fun, not a daily battle. Children respond best when they are engaged, stimulated and having fun, so we encourage you to make brushing teeth into playtime.
There are so many different ways you can do this, you can make up a fun song or nursery rhyme that they can jig along too as you brush. You can encourage their good habits by getting them to brush their favourite dolls teeth whilst you brush theirs, children love to imitate and role play. Or you could introduce them to the world of teeth brushing with storytelling.
The Brushies are the perfect way to make brushing teeth fun and educational at the same time. They have introduced four friendly finger puppet characters that you can team up with to help fight sugar bugs. They are dedicated to making brushing fun while teaching kids about healthy habits and sugar bugs, so much so, they’ve even got a fun book to help entertain your little one at brushing time. The book set is an imaginative way of making the process more fun, simply get your little one comfy and read the book to them as you brush their teeth with the finger toothbrush and you will have a captivated baby in no time. The book casts sugar bugs as villains with The Brushies toothbrushes saving the day as dental superheroes, kids will quickly learn the importance of using their Brushies to keep the sugar bugs away.
Who doesn’t love a gold star? This age old technique is still a winner in our house and a great way to encourage your little one to let you brush their teeth. Rewarding them with a sticker on their brushing teeth chart each time they successfully let you brush their teeth will encourage good habits and give them a sense of achievement and pride. Once the chart is filled with stars or stickers, the "prize" doesn't have to be extravagant! It could be anything from extra time in the garden, their favourite treat or even a fun adventure. You know what makes them tick and get excited so make the reward one they really want to get.
Set an example
You brush your teeth at least twice a day yourself so why not use this to encourage your little one too? Making a big show or example of when you brush your teeth too and making sure they see you also do this task daily will help them see how important it is. Children love to imitate adults, it’s in their nature to want to copy you and role play. Doing it together can make them feel included and like they are doing something “grown up”.
These tips to making brushing time fun might not be an instant hit with your little one, and you might still have a little unhappy wriggler on your hands who just does not like having their teeth brushed. As frustrating and demotivating as this might feel, we really do encourage you to keep trying and soon enough they will start to get used to it.
Giving up now will only make it harder in later stages to get your little one into their brushing teeth routine. Sticking with it at the early stages will make your life so much easier later on. Healthy habits start early and continue for life.