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The word "hygiene" doesn't mean much to a small child. The concept of brushing teeth is foreign to kids-why would they want to put a funny-tasting stick in their mouth and move it all around? If only children weren't susceptible to cavities. Below are some tips to teach kids how to take care of their teeth and yes, even have fun in the process.
Keeping Them in the Bathroom
"Sit on the toilet seat with your child standing between your legs. Cross one leg over the other (so that she is in the 'triangle' created). Lean her head back. Brush. She won't be able to escape and she will get her teeth brushed. Of course, just suggesting that she brush but not making it a fight and may do the trick."
~ Parent Soup member Hupfauf
The Fountain of Tooth
"We recently bought a drinking fountain attachment for our bathroom sink. Now my two-year-old loves brushing his teeth, because he gets to drink out of the fountain too."
~ Parent Soup member PSJoEllyn
Open Up and Say Ah
"My son (he's now 28 months old) and I have been using the same routine for a very long time. I sit him on the sink and let him hold the toothbrush while I put a very small amount of toothpaste on it. Then we practice making silly sounds that help open his mouth. 'EEEEEeeeeeee' works for front teeth, and 'AAAAaahhhhh' for back and so on."
~ Parent Soup member ASHFAM316
Incentive that Sticks
"I began using stickers as an incentive for my son to brush his teeth. I tell him, 'If you let Mommy brush your teeth you can have a sticker.' The past two nights he has let me in with the brush. Yes! Before this I was using a washcloth on the outer portions of his teeth -- it was easier to get my hand in his mouth than the toothbrush. But I didn't try to clean his back teeth this way, I was afraid of getting bitten!"
~ Parent Soup member SWKEEL