Since February is dental health month, I wanted to share some tips on how to help your preschooler do a great job at brushing their teeth. Sometimes preschoolers will get into a phase of not wanting to brush their teeth or are one who rushes the task. Getting children excited to brush their teeth and take care of them correctly is important for their dental health. Here are a few tips that may come in handy when trying to complete the daily task.
In order to make sure that the appropriate amount of time is being spent brushing, using some sort of a timer system will be very helpful. The recommended two minutes that kids should be brushing can seem to be an eternity to them. Grasping the actual amount of 2 minutes is a more advanced concept. So, using some sort of timer will help distract them and keep them brushing for the entire two minutes. We use a smiley face kitchen timer at my house! I wanted something kind of silly so he would be interested in the countdown process. We set the timer together and he likes to watch it spin and loves to keep brushing until the bell goes off! So far his interest has stayed, if it were to fade I would try using a sand timer instead to change it up. Amazon carries different sized sand timers which are engaging to kiddos. Using a larger sand timer would be such a great thing to have to make the passing time go by faster for them.
Aside from using a countdown you could also sing a song to your child while they brush. As they are learning to brush, there are a few fun toothbrushing songs out there that kids really seem to love. You can find them online with a quick search, one of our favorites is the Elmo brushing teeth song. As your kiddo is brushing, you acting silly and singing will keep their mind off what they are doing. Another way is to brush your own teeth with you preschooler. Make it into a copy-cat game, both brushing the same way at the same time.
I think the biggest way to encourage great dental care is simply by making the task of brushing teeth fun! Get your child excited about brushing their teeth. Make them feel like it’s a fun treat to pick out a new toothbrush (I mean, I’m still jazzed a little when I get to pick out a new one). Make it a fun part of the routine at bedtime and in the morning. Connect with them, sing, and be silly! If you make their dental health a fun time to connect, they will have a better chance at being cavity free!