Friday, August 16, 2013

Toddler Toothbrushing

One of Jake's many reactions to the "big boy" toothbrush

In all seriousness: how in the world do you brush a toddler’s teeth?

When we used just the little brush you slip on your finger, we had little-to-no problems. In fact, sometimes Jake really enjoyed it.

But now that we've recently graduated to the "big boy" toothbrush, every night after bath time I brace myself for his reaction to me pulling it out. It’s roulette.

Will he reach for it out of curiosity? Complacently allow me to brush them, no problem? Or even brush them himself...

Will the sight of it push him over the edge to toddler tantrum-dom, all cries and flailing and then his body turning into a limp noodle?

Or will he run from me, giggling and yipping with glee, making it a catch-me-if-you-can game that ends with me barely prying the toothbrush into his mouth as he half buries his face into his toddler bed?

Clearly I’m doing this wrong.

I turned to the Modern Mom’s tool for solving stuff about kids and Google searched toddler toothbrushing. One Mom on a forum suggested doing it while he’s still in the bathtub, contained. She said to first brush his teeth and then do everyone’s teeth in the tub – rubber ducky, the plastic water-squirting frog, whomever. I thought that was a good idea and might give it a try.

What suggestions do you have for brushing a toddler’s teeth? Please share your tips!

Megan Brooks is a Sr. Public Relations Specialist for Texas Health Resources, Mom to a toddler and Stepmom to a teenager whom both despise teeth brushing.

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