I love brushing my teeth and luckily most of my kids have felt the same – they’ve looked forward to choosing a new toothbrush with same enthusiasm they have for a new toy. And then along came Archie………. Archie, aged two, is not so excited about the prospect of brushing teeth. Some days he actually quite likes it. Other days it’s a full on battle and I have to exhaust every persuasive technique in the book to get him to brush his teeth. Even on the good days – he’s such a wriggler and very stubborn that most toothbrushing incidents involve a whole load of toothpaste over the bathroom and exhausted parents! The rule of thumb is that you are supposed to supervise brushing of your kid’s teeth until the age of 7. That’s five more years of toothbrush battles! So, we got together with Aquafresh to put together some top tips and fun ideas to help kids brush their teeth! Keep reading to find out how to make tooth brushing fun for toddlers!
10 Fun ideas to help kids brush their teeth!
- Make it Special. Let’s face it; some little ones simply do not like brushing their teeth. Can you blame them? The idea of putting a brush in their mouth with little bristles on is a little strange! Make it special by letting your child pick out his or her own toothbrush. Perhaps of their favourite cartoon character or animal? My kiddos like the Aquafresh ones that stick to the side of the sink or the bath or anywhere they choose to stick them!! Then, pick out a great flavour of toothpaste. It doesn’t have to be mint! Aquafresh has child-friendly, mild mint flavours that are suitable for your child’s age.’ Just make sure you’re using the right toothpaste for your child’s age. My older daughter, aged 10 loves the Aquafresh advance as the font and styling is so much more grown up!
- Be a Role Model. Kids love doing and copying what their parents do. Take advantage of this and grab your toothbrush and join them! Show them it’s fun to brush their teeth! You could let them have a go brushing your teeth too to help them realise it’s a safe and fun activity!
- Show them the Importance! For slightly older kids you can show them the importance of brushing your teeth. There are lots of great videos which help you do this and some brilliant experiments too which show kids what happens if you don’t brush. We like this one. Sometimes we pretend we’re searching for the food in our kiddos teeth to brush it away……..”Hmmm…let me see if I can find the carrots you had for dinner. There they are! Let’s brush them goodbye!”
- Turn teeth brushing into a game! Some children feel that brushing is boring so making it a game is key. As you can see below – our mad kids love dancing when brushing teeth! You could also try singing songs and changing the lyrics, for example, try singing, “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” but changing the lyrics to, “Brush, Brush, Brush Your Teeth.” Another example is, “The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round,” changed to, “The Toothbrush on the Teeth goes Round and Round.” Sounds a bit silly, but for little ones, it works and its fun! Our personal favourite is to play ‘Baby Shark’ where Archie likes to pretend to be a shark whilst playing the song. It’s worth listening to this crazily, annoying song to get the teeth brushed! There’s a great song here for learning to brush your teeth too!
5. Give them Independence. Let your kids brush their own teeth for part of the time. Archie likes to start by brushing his teeth and then he usually lets us ‘finish them off!’
6. Make sure they can see in the mirror. Kids love mirrors because they can see what they are doing, and kids love seeing and feeling that they are doing something right. You can also make silly faces in the mirror and add to the fun factor!
7. Let them play Dentist! This one is one of my favourites! Let your little ones play Dentist with their favourite toy. This can lead them to open up to the idea of brushing and look at it as something fun and also makes trips to the dentist less scary!
8. Reward them! You could use sticker charts and reward them every time they brush your teeth. Or you could download this Amazing Mouth poster and tick off the teeth every time you finish brushing one!
9. Use an App! Download a fun app. ‘Aquafresh Brushtime’ plays two minutes of music (the recommended time for brushing) while the brusher races against the clock to get a clean mouth before time is up. Captain Aquafresh and the Nurdles dance through the 2 minutes of brush time to help get kids brushing! Archie loved the colourful characters. We also use a 3 min sand timer to help our older kids know how long to brush for.
10. Make it a Competition! This can be done with siblings or the parents and you can have competitions for the person that brushes their teeth for the longest or brushes their teeth slowest or fastest or even who can pull the funniest face whilst brushing……the list is endless!
*Disclosure – This is written in collaboration with Aquafresh. All thoughts, words and photos are my own.*