I’ve always found brushing teeth time to be a chore I enjoyed with my kids. It happens twice a day and it gives us an opportunity to pretend. Sometimes we pretend to be Ariel the Mermaid (ahhh ahhh ahhh), then Bruce the Shark (eeee eeeee eeeee) and last Scuttle the Seagull (brushing tongue making a “horrible” Scuttle sound). Check out this video below (or click here to watch it on my 10 Minutes for Talking You Tube Channel) to see Maeve, Jillian and I brushing teeth in the morning after I got the big kids off to school.
Sing your child’s favorite song as you brush his teeth. “Dance” as you brush and make funny faces. You can even use the toothbrush as microphone! Your child will be so interested in watching you go crazy that he will love brushing his teeth.
Infants love having their mouths massaged. I liked to put the toothbrush or a washrag in a bit of cold water and then store it in a ziplock bag in the freezer. I pulled it out to wipe down my infant’s gums and got him into a toothbrushing routine early!
My preschoolers liked to be independent. I still needed to supervise to be sure their teeth got clean, but was so satisfying to watch and listen as my little guy brushed his teeth himself. Use the words, “First, Next and Last” to cue your preschooler if he needs help remembering the toothbrushing steps. Also, praise him when he’s done (even if you need to do a little touch-up….I always pretended I was the Dragon Dentist and I was “just checking his fire breath”).