When your child reaches two years old hugs and dribbly smiles have been replaced with tantrums and gnarls! They have an adventurous spirit and the sentence they have perfected is ‘I do it!’
As you read this there will be thousands of two year olds around the world screaming that very sentence. Don’t despair though they do end…Usually around 22 years old!
How do you get through the next 20 years? Read the tips below to help you win one of the hardest ‘battles’ you will endure.
10 tips to help win the Teethbrushing Battle!
Use the bed.
Don’t even attempt to start using the bathroom at the start of the battle, they will take you down day 1. Be strategic, plan carefully! Once your little one is lying down it is so much easier to gain access to their mouth. Even though they are independent and capable at this very mature age, they are not able to brush their teeth effectively until they are SEVEN YEARS OLD! Some TWENTY SEVEN years old!
Their turn first.
Let them have a go first. Don’t feel bad about how little time ‘your turn’ actually takes. Most parents get about 15 seconds to brush as fast as they can! The aim is 2 minutes but it’s a bit like the ‘aim’ at the gym to run for the whole 30 minutes!
The toothbrush is Alive!
Pretend the toothbrush is alive. Give it a name, a special voice and it is coming to have a party in their mouth and tickle their teeth!
Mix it up!
Alternate with different brushes. Jack N’ Jill has a selection of brushes and this makes it more interesting for the little ones. At two and a half years old you can switch between our Bio Brush and our Silicone Tooth and Gum Brush. Then a bit closer to three you can bring out the big guns! Buzzy the electric toothbrush!
You are a Genie!
Be anyone they want you to be, their wish is your command. Don that performers hat and DISTRACT! This is one of the best techniques at this age for the tooth battle. Sing their favourite song, do a tap dance! If they bite on the brush, stop the performance until they let go.
Jack N’ Jill toothpaste is so YUMMY and safe to swallow. Do a deal – they get to suck off the first squirt and brush with the second! How about making a fruit salad and mixing 2 flavors?
You are nearly winning!
At three years old Buzzy is sure to impress. They almost forget there is a war and start to ask to clean their teeth! Buzzy plays Music, explains what to do…we just haven’t worked out how to get him to clean the house as well as teeth! The first musical track is fun, educational and very catchy. It switches itself off after two minutes so that they know when to stop brushing (also saves the battery life!). Buzzy has a silent mode for when it’s all a bit much (for you, not them!)
If you haven’t used toothpaste yet then you are on the home straight introducing Jack N’ Jill. Using a Yummy toothpaste encourages them to brush and sets up positive associations with their oral care routine from being a very young age. It is formulated with lots of Xylitol, along with organic fruit flavors and tastes delicious.
Turn into a game. Play guess the flavor. With 5 options to choose from they won’t get bored quickly. Don’t show them the flavor and see if they can recognize the fruit flavor. Extend out the game as long as you can and brush like crazy (gently) whilst they are distracted.
The bear Hug!
The battle is close, the odds are stacked against you, and this calls for the final attack! The bear hug! Hold them tight and brush those teeth. It is vital this a battle that is won by you! The future health of their teeth as adults depends on you. Pick your battles. This has to be a clear winner and the superhero outfit to kinder with gum boots and a snorkeling mask, that can be fought another day!
What works for you and winning the toothbrush battle? Share your war stories in the comments below.