As every mom knows, it can be a battle to brush your toddler’s teeth. There are usually tears involved. (Mine.) And there’s a 100% probability that approximately 23% of said toddler’s teeth will actually get brushed.
I’ve so been there.
Every morning and night, the bathroom was a dreaded war zone as we struggled to clean those pearly whites. I tried consequences, time-out, loss of privileges, coaxing, singing songs, and more. All of the great advice about how to brush your toddler’s teeth just fell flat. Nothing worked!
It was a mental block that my little guy just couldn’t overcome. To him, brushing his teeth was equivalent to walking over hot coals. I needed a toddler teeth brushing tip, fast! So, I kept trying new strategies, sure that one day he would finally let me brush his teeth without a tantrum.
Now I’m a firm believer in authoritative parenting. Setting loving rules and maintaining boundaries goes a long way toward a more peaceful home. But sometimes, when nothing seems to work, I think it’s OK to try a more creative strategy!
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How I (Finally) Learned to Brush My Toddler’s Teeth without Tears
If you’ve tried everything, give this trick a go. It just might work!
Here’s the plan. Your job is to be so incredibly silly that your toddler doesn’t even notice that you’re brushing his teeth! It’s really simple, and REALLY silly. But your toddler will really, really love it.
I call it the “Animal Hunt Game.”
You: Hey sweetie, it’s time to brush your teeth! Are you ready to play Animal Hunt?
Toddler: A’mal Hunt! yay! *literally runs to the sink* (Just days ago, he would have been running in the opposite direction.)
You: “OK, you’re ready. Now which animal should we find first?”
Toddler: “I find… al’gator!” *opens up his mouth wide*
You: *in your funniest and downright silliest voice* “Chomp, chomp. I think I see one! Let’s wash him clean!”
Toddler: “There’s a snake in there too, mommy!” *grinning like a fool*
While your little one is distracted, get in there with that toothbrush and clean those teeth!
Repeat as necessary with different animals until your toddler’s teeth are all clean. I’m telling you, I’ve used this strategy for a while now. My son’s teeth haven’t been this clean since the day that first tooth popped through!
The key here is to be so incredibly silly that your toddler is just hooked on your every word. Change it up and go on a dragon hunt, or search for butterflies. You know your toddler best. What would bring on a fit of giggles?
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Give this toddler teeth brushing trick a try!
What I love about this creative strategy is that it does double duty. We can get a chore done and finally have a toddler with clean teeth. But the bonus is that I also get to fill my child’s bucket. Silliness is the love language of toddlers around the world. So as I play this silly game with him, I’m also building connection, trust, and being a bucket-filler.
Want more strategies for winning at life in the toddler years? I know you’ll love this post about how to rock a toddler schedule (even on the weekends)!
Have you tried this toddler teeth brushing tip yet? Let us know your favorite creative ways to get those teeth clean!