To many women, getting their toddlers brush their teeth is one of the most difficult bath time tasks. Some prefer to leave the role totally for their housemaids and do not even get involved on weekends. Bath times have always been proven to be a good time for bonding. Hence, if you have been avoiding this activity because of all the endless tantrums and crying involved, why don’t you try some of the genius nuggets in this article.
- Get your kids involved in the buying process
What is the point in buying toothpaste that your child abhors? You would agree with me that kids love shopping. Hence, you can initiate the love for brushing in your kids by involving them in the buying process when you go shopping for toiletries. You can start by raising a conversation around this before leaving home or simply asking that whoever wants to join should come along.
- Ensure you get the desired toothbrush and toothpaste flavour
There is nothing as boring and offensive to an unwilling toddler as overly spicy toothpaste. To avoid this, read labels carefully and ensure you buy different flavour incase they do not like a particular flavour. An easy way to counter this is to get them involved when trying to select while shopping. Let them see the different brands and types available. Then, they can have some fun trying to help you pick out which toothbrush colours or which toothpaste flavour they prefer. This can create a kind of anticipation for the actual tooth brushing activity because your children would be eager to try out what they have selected.
- Be creative
During the actual tooth brushing activity, try to be as creative as possible. Find out what your child likes and incorporate this while trying to get them to brush.The idea is to get them to love brushing as an important process in maintaing oral hygiene and care Sing, dance, play songs, mimic their favourite animal etc. For example if he or she likes singing you can have a theme song for your brushing activity or try different songs. If you have decided on a particular song, ensure to sing or play that song each time you want them to brush, this way they get to associate the song with brushing activity.
- Be conversational
Do not get caught in the habit of grabbing your unwilling toddler and forcing them to the bathroom without talking to them. Let them know what you want to do and why it is important that they brush. Incorporate some little conversation whilst you brush, tell them a story of a kid who did not love to brush and later had z-worms grow in their teeth. Trust me; they would want to know what a z-worm is. Voila! You are in a conversation already.
Please do not be overly forceful or try holding them down .It might cause your child to detest bath time totally or even run away when it is time to brush. If you are going to hold them with anything, let it be with something fun. For example, a z-worm story.
- Stick to a routine
When it comes to children and their activities, it is always good to have a routine. Having a consistent routine helps them understand the importance of getting their teeth cleaned daily. Ensure you do it same time everyday morning and evening.
Brushing is very important process in maintaing oral health. Although getting toddlers to brush might be considered a herculean task by some women, trying out these suggestions can help you overcome these fears.
Ngozi Ojo is business consultant.