Today’s Save My Sanity tip is about brushing your toddler’s teeth.
Confession: I have at times wanted to totally give up on my daughter’s teeth and just let them rot out.
Don’t do it! Having healthy teeth is linked to lower rates of heart disease. Also, it can improve behavior, sometimes kids are cranky because their teeth hurt!
I’ll share several teeth brushing ideas, but my first one:
Have an assortment of toothbrushes available. That way, your toddler gets to choose which tooth brush they’re going to use instead of whether or not they brush their teeth.
Underlying Parenting Secret: Give your kids choices you’re okay with!
These are all of the toothbrushes I have tried to get my daughter to brush her teeth. From left to right.
- The Hand Me Down
Yes, that’s my old electric toothbrush. For Christmas, I replaced my electric toothbrush that I’ve been using for several years. I had an extra replacement toothbrush top for it, so I replaced the top and gave it to my daughter. She loves having a toothbrush just like mommy.
- The Baby Toothbrush
This one has an easy to hold handle and long soft bristles. Works when we’re feeling like being a “little girl.”
- The Prize
This toothbrush was a prize at the end of one of her taekwondo classes. It is special and therefore worthy of her teeth.
- The teether
This one is actually for my younger daughter (16 months). I got this “practice” toothbrush to massage her gums (actually seems to help with teething), and to start early getting her used to cleaning her gums – especially when she started trying solid food.
- Shameless Marketing Ploys
My daughter loves Frozen. For some reason, Olaf helping makes her want to brush her teeth. She also really likes Minions (I don’t entirely understand this because I don’t think she’s actually seen Despicable Me) so having these friends as company seems to make the terrible chore of brushing her teeth just a little easier.
The up side of having an assortment of toothbrush options is that my control enthusiast toddler can choose which tooth brush she uses (note: she does not get to choose whether or not she brushes her teeth) this can sometimes help intercept a tantrum because she doesn’t feel like she has to choose not to brush her teeth.