5 Tips For Brushing Your Toddlers Teeth (and does it really matter?)
If brushing your toddlers teeth is anything like it is at my place, it’s one of the most frustrating times of the day. I admit, I can be tempted just to skip the whole routine and save everyone the trauma.
Last week I was lucky enough to talk to Melanie Hayes, President of the NSW Dental Hygienists’ Association of Australia and ask her advice on brushing kids’ teeth.
Turns out I’m not the only Mum who finds it a frustrating process, but skipping the brushing or even skimping on it, is a really bad idea. Did you know that kids can get tooth decay in their baby teeth? In fact, 38% of 5-6 year olds in Australia will have tooth decay! That’s a scary statistic for something that is a preventable disease.
If I needed convincing that finding a less traumatic way to do this then that little statistic did the trick. Thankfully Melanie had some suggestions to help.
Melanie’s 5 tips for brushing your toddler’s teeth.
Tip 1. It’s not good for toddlers to swallow toothpaste because it contains fluoride and too much fluoride can be harmful in children. Make sure you use a low fluoride toothpaste and get them to practice spitting with water. Note: babies up to 18months old don’t need toothpaste at all, just use a soft brush and water.
Tip 2: Don’t use too much toothpaste, you need an amount smaller than the size of a pea. The taste of the toothpaste can be off-putting to some kids (or too appealing to others – mine included!)
Tip 3. Toddlers love to copy you, so brush your teeth with them.
Tip 4. Let your toddler brush your teeth, while you brush their’s. (Also a tactic employed by the lovely Zoey from Good Goog)
Tip 5. When it comes to visiting the Dentist, create positive associations with the experience (a funny balloon etc..) and rather than booking an appointment for your toddler, make a family appointment where you go first to show them what will happen, and then they have a turn.
Bonus Tip! To protect your child’s teeth from the sugar in drinks (which, by the way,we should be limiting) let them use a straw so the drink misses their teeth.
How do you find brushing your toddler’s teeth. Have your older kids gotten better at this routine? What tips can you share to make this an easier experience for mother & child?
Thanks to Colgate for hosting such an interesting event and for helping make this part of the day a little bit easier.
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