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How to Brush Your Toddler’s Teeth

Father and son brushing their teeth in front of a mirror

Knowing how to brush your toddler’s teeth seems easy—until you try it! Toddlers don’t always want to hold still or cooperate. However, proper brushing of toddlers’ teeth from the eruption of their first tooth is essential for ensuring a lifetime of oral health. Read on for proper brushing techniques and tips to keep your squirmy little ones interested.

How to Hold Your Toddler While Brushing Their Teeth

First, you should know how to position your toddler to brush their teeth. Here are some comfortable positions to give you enough access while holding them still.

1. Kneeling

Kneel behind your standing toddler. Reach around to brush their teeth with one hand and maneuver their mouth with another. You can do this in front of a mirror to make it more interesting for them.

2. Sitting

Sit behind your toddler on the couch or the floor and brush their teeth as in the previous method. Alternatively, you can ask them to lay back and put their head in your lap.

3. Knee-to-knee

In this method, you need the help of a partner. Sit knee-to-knee with your partner. Lay your child down so that their head rests on your lap and they face the other adult. Maneuver the child’s mouth as your partner does the brushing.

Brushing Techniques

Right around the time when your kids should visit the dentist is when you need to start brushing their teeth. Here are the correct techniques on how to brush your toddler’s teeth most efficiently.

  1. Use a small-headed, soft-bristled toothbrush.
  2. Apply a grain-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste for toddlers under 3 and a pea-sized amount for older kids.
  3. Gently brush all the surfaces of their teeth in circular motions at a 45-degree angle for 2 minutes.
  4. Don’t forget to brush their tongue.
  5. Ask them to spit out. There’s no need for rinsing as fluoride helps protect their teeth.
  6. Do this twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed.

Make Toddler Teeth Brushing Fun

Brushing is the best type of preventative dental care, and now that you know how to brush your toddler’s teeth, here are some tips to make it a fun activity.

Choosing a Toothbrush

Get your kid more involved by letting them choose their own toothbrush. There are a lot of fun styles and colors available. Plus, having your toddler pick their toothbrush will make them look forward to the brushing experience.

Sing a Song

Coming up with a special song is how you can keep your toddlers interested while you brush their teeth. You can invent your own 2-minute tune or choose one from the American Dental Association’s tooth brushing songs playlist.

Brush Their Doll’s Teeth

As you brush your toddler’s teeth, give them a second toothbrush and have them brush their favorite toy’s teeth. This is a fun distraction that will familiarize your toddler with teeth brushing on their own someday.

Visit the Dentist Regularly

Knowing how to brush your toddler’s teeth is a great start, but kids still need regular check-ups at the dentist. The caring team at Children’s Dentistry of Lolo is ready to give your toddler a bright smile and a positive experience at the dentist. We are currently accepting new patients. Call now to book your appointment!

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