The battle of the toothbrush: 5 ways to get your toddler to brush their teeth

by | Apr 6, 2021

Getting your toddler to brush their teeth twice a day can be a struggle, but it is the only way to help them keep their pearly whites, pearly white. Tennille Aron shares some fantastic tips on how to make the struggle a little bit easier.

If you spend most days fighting with your toddler to brush their teeth, then here are a few creative tricks to help you win the battle or at least give you a fighting chance.

  1. It’s all about choices

Children are always more interested in doing something when they have had a hand in preparing for it. Therefore, it is very important to take your child with you to the store when you are purchasing their toothbrush and toothpaste.

Let them choose which toothbrush they would like to use. Sometimes choosing a specific colour or character toothbrush can make them more excited about brushing their teeth. You’ll be surprised at how eager a toddler can be to brush their teeth if their toothbrush has their favourite superhero or princess on it.

  1. Everything is better with music

Everything is a bit more fun with music, even getting your toddler to brush their teeth every day. Turn brushing times into mini dance parties by playing your toddler’s favourite song while they brush.

Alternatively, even singing your toddler’s favourite song to them while they brush their teeth can help get the job done. So next time you are losing the brushing battle, try adding a little “Baby Shark” to your morning mix.

  1. Add in some character

Children identify strongly with characters in books, movies or in series that they watch. So, find characters who brush their teeth regularly in books or on screen, and allow your little one to read and watch how these characters clean their teeth regularly. You can then refer back to these stories when you are trying to get your tot to brush their teeth.

  1. Toddler see, toddler do

Toddlers like to copy what the grown-ups around them do, so try brushing your teeth along with your tot. You can let your little one brush their own teeth, while you brush yours.

While they won’t do the best job at first and you might have to help them to finish brushing their teeth, it will it make brushing process much easier. In some cases, playing a simple game of “Simon says” might also make brushing their teeth more enjoyable. “Simon says brush the teeth on the bottom right side of your mouth for 30 seconds.”

  1. Teddy needs clean teeth too

Using their favourite toy to demonstrate the importance of clean teeth is also a great way to increase your toddler’s affinity for brushing their teeth. You can get them to brush their teddy’s teeth while you are brushing their teeth. It is a great distraction and makes brushing time more fun.

Though getting your tot to brush their teeth twice a day, every day, can sometimes feel like a losing battle, establishing good oral hygiene habits from a young age is essential. The earlier you start, the better, because after all how else are you going to help them protect that beaming smile?

Guest Editor Reevana Govender
Guest Editor Reevana Govender

Brushing teeth can be a daily struggle for many toddlers, these tips are sure to help make it a better experience for both parents and toddlers.