How to Get Your Reluctant Baby to Brush Her Teeth

baby brushing teethSome kids act like brushing their teeth is torture. Clearly they have no idea what a root canal feels like -- and as parents, we never want them to. So how do we get the little ones to enjoy brushing their teeth?

Megan is a mom of 13-month-old Leslie who started her child off right and now has a happy little tooth brusher on her hands. (And probably less dental bills in the long run!) So what's her secret to getting her daughter to enjoy brushing? Well, we have to start them young. Here are more tips compiled with an expert!

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1. Introduce the motion when baby starts eating solid foods. Usually around 6 months. Purchase one of those soft finger toothbrushes that goes on mom's or dad's finger and can be rubbed directly on baby's gums. Make sure to brush with the soft finger toothbrush every night right after baby's last bottle or nursing session, so she gets used to it. It also feels wonderful on baby's gums when teething.

2. Sing the ABC's while brushing. Make sure to brush during the entire chorus of the "ABC's," as this helps build up baby's brushing habits to the dentist-recommended one minute per arch. Babies have short attention spans, so starting with the "ABC's" is a good way to get them used to longer brushing sessions. It also helps them learn the most important song of their youth!

3. Motivate baby to brush. When baby turns 1, she's eating more things than ever. It's now especially important to brush their teeth more than once a day to keep bacteria/germs at bay. Babies have also started to master the "pincher grasp" and they want to hold things on their own, including food, sippy cups, and personal care items. Let baby brush her own teeth by motivating her with a "flashy" device! We use the FireFly Toothbrush -- it lights up and some are just 99 cents. 

4. Give positive reinforcement. Cheer for baby when she brushes and let her know what a good job she is doing! It will inspire her to want to brush longer and more frequently to get more claps and smiles from you.

5. Brush with baby. Mom and Dad should have their own toothbrush handy so they can brush along with baby. Babies love to mimic their parents and what better way then during brushing sessions!

Does your baby like brushing? What other tips would you add to get baby to love brushing?

 

Image courtesy of Megan Brown Bennett

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