Pearly Whites // Encouraging Toddlers to Brush Their Teeth

Toddlers aren’t known for being cooperative, especially when it comes to important things like suncream, taking medicine or brushing their teeth. I think we’re quite lucky in that Lu still sees brushing her teeth as a really fun activity, she likes to be in the bathroom and stand on her little step. She loves to wash her hands and pretend to shave, just like Daddy. With that said, she is fiercely independent and does not appreciate my input when it comes to reaching her molars!

I’m absolutely a ‘pick your battles’ kind of parent – if she wants to sleep in her clothes I let her. If she insists on using a spoon with a glass of juice that is no problem. Anything to appease the tyrant, eh? Of course, dental hygiene isn’t somewhere I can compromise, those tiny teeth are getting properly cleaned no matter what. Did you know that in 2015/16 there were 9206 children under four hospitalised for extractions because of tooth decay? Just wow.

 

 

A few months ago I received asking if we’d like to sample some goodies from Jack N’ Jill, an Australian company specialising in natural and organic products. Even the toothbrushes and all the packaging are recyclable.

We were sent the Koala Gift Kit which is made up of a rinse/storage cup, natural organic raspberry toothpaste, a bio toothbrush and a two pack of silicone finger brushes.

 

 

Luisa absolutely loves the set, she likes to point out the cute characters and really loves the flavour of the toothpaste. I was a bit worried that she wouldn’t at first because we’ve tried a few kinds of toothpaste and a lot of them have been accused of being ‘spicy’ by her ladyship. From my point of view, I’m a big fan because it’s a natural product with no nasty additives and it contains calendula which can help soothe sore gums.

 

 

To anyone worrying about how to encourage their baby or toddler to brush their teeth I’d say start early, as soon as that first tooth comes along let them have a go. Make it a fun activity with a cute toothbrush and lots of encouragement. Let it be a part of your routine and they’ll accept it as a normal thing to do.

 

Obviously I’m neither a dental expert or a toddler expert so I asked some other bloggers to share their wisdom too :

Lauren from Scrapbook Blog shares her secrets; “Perseverance, songs and distraction. We now do it in front of ‘that pig’ in the living room!”

Leanne took Aria shopping to get her excited about it; “We’ve just bought a battery operated tooth brush for Aria and she loves it and wants to brush her teeth all the time! I took her to the shop and let her pick from a few, she picked minions, or, according to her ‘quack quacks’. She carried it around town with her and couldn’t wait to use it!”

Alex of Lamb & Bear makes it a team sport; “Let them brush yours while you brush theirs!”

Hannah persevered and it worked in the end; ” I’m afraid that I’m old school. Be firm. I used to sing ‘this is the way we brush our teeth, brush our teeth, brush our teeth…’ to the Here we go round the Mulberry Bush tune and that helped but on the days when my son didn’t want to, I was firm and persevered.”

Beth gets a favourite toy involved; “Bring their teddy to the bathroom and pretend to brush his teeth, this makes it more fun and get’s them involved.”

Sian has blown my mind with this clever idea; “Start early! I used the little baby “toothbrushes” which are more like teethers from around 6 months old. When it comes to actually brushing teeth, I sit them on my lap facing away from me so that I’m holding the toothbrush and approaching their mouth the same way that they will, rather than coming towards their faces with a scary weird plastic thing!”

Danielle has a cautionary tale about timing; “Make it fun! Sing songs whilst explaining why it is important to brush their teeth every night. We give Eco the brush first and go over them afterwards. A little tip though, ensure the brushing of teeth isn’t done when they are super tired and cranky as you’ll experience a refusal to cooperate and a possible meltdown. We learnt this the hard way!”

 

So there you have it – a huge amount of wisdom (pardon the pun) To find out more about the Jack N’ Jill range and buy their products please visit their site.

 

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2 Comments

  1. 27th July 2017 / 11:28 am

    Great tips here! With Jonah we’ve found that lying him on his back and making him laugh allows us to really get in with the brush! How long this will last, I don’t know. He’s only 13 months and not quite walking yet.

  2. 2nd August 2017 / 9:38 am

    These are all great times. Pickle hated having his teeth brushed until we let him pick his own tooth brush. We also use a video too that helps him understand how long to use his tooth brush for 🙂

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