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Five ways to get your toddler to brush their teeth. Try making it fun, using an electric toothbrush, letting your toddler help, leading by example, and making it part of your routine.

Are you wondering: How do I get my 2 year old to brush her teeth? What do you do when your toddler won’t brush their teeth? What are tips and tricks for making toddler tooth brushing easier?

Check out these 5 tips for how to get your toddler to brush their teeth.

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Make It Fun

It can be difficult, but try not to make brushing your toddler’s teeth a power struggle or battle. Most toddlers respond better to tasks when they get to have fun! Here are some easy ways to make tooth brushing fun:

  • Colors and Characters. Get your toddler a fun toothbrush in their favorite color or toothpaste with their favorite character on it. Choose a tooth brush that is made for a toddler because they will be smaller and have softer bristles.
  • Play Pretend. Pretend to be your toddler’s favorite character and be sure to explain how they love brushing their teeth. Make silly voices and act in character and get your toddler to play along.
  • Sing a Song. Make up your own song about brushing your teeth or play their favorite tooth brushing son from YouTube. My toddler’s favorite is the Blippi Tooth Brushing Song. I don’t play it every time, but so often resort to singing this song while trying to brush my toddler’s teeth.

Try An Electric Toothbrush

This is the number one tip that has helped my toddler love to brush his teeth! My husband and I use an electric toothbrush, and our toddler has been obsessed with it from a young age. So around 18 months we got him an electric toothbrush of his own––one designed specifically for babies and toddlers.

Nuby Animal Character Electric Toothbrush – These are the perfect toddler toothbrushes! They come in fun characters, vibrate for easy and effective cleaning, and play music that makes it fun for your toddler and also lets them know when brushing can be done. They come with two different heads (one for babies and one for toddlers) so that it can grow with your toddler as well.

Let Your Toddler Help

I’ve been there; the only way you can seem to brush your toddler’s teeth is to hold them down while they are kicking and screaming and brush their teeth yourself.

This may be necessary in some instances, but I find that I have much better luck if I let my toddler brush his teeth himself. Much less kicking and screaming and tears for everyone.

He can’t do it completely by himself––at least not a good brushing––but I do let him start the process by brushing his teeth himself. After about 30 seconds, I kindly ask him if I can help, and then proceed to hold the toothbrush over his hand to help him brush.

I don’t completely take over or take the brush out of his hand, though. I’ve found that he is much more willing to let me help, than to do it completely without him.

You can also let your toddler start brushing while they are standing at the sink. Getting a step stool (like this one we use from Nuby) can help your toddler feel more involved and like they are part of the process.

Lead by Example

Most good leaders lead by example, and this is true with many aspects of parenting as well.

Brush your teeth alongside your toddler and show them how to do it effectively. Brush the top, bottom, fronts, and sides. Show your toddler how to brush in circles, back and forth, and side to side. Talk to them and tell them what you are doing while you are doing it (the best you can with a toothbrush in your mouth, anyways!).

Most of the time if your toddler sees you doing it, they will be more likely to join in too!

Make it Part of Your Routine

Finally, another strategy to get your toddler to brush their teeth is to make it part of your routine. Like adults, toddlers should brush their teeth every morning and night. Don’t panic if you aren’t there yet, try adding it to either your morning or bedtime routine first, and then nail that down before adding in the other.

Making tooth brushing part of your routine can help your toddler know that this task is coming. They might even get excited knowing that after they get dressed they can grab their favorite color toothbrush and run to the bathroom themselves!

A good morning routine might be: wake up, use the restroom (or diaper change for young toddlers), wash their hands, get dressed, and finally brush their teeth.

A good evening routine might be: take a bath, get in pajamas, use the restroom (or a young toddler would get a new diaper after the bath), wash their hands, brush their teeth, read a book, and off to bed.

Whatever your morning or bedtime routines are like, adding tooth brushing in can make a big difference in having a toddler willing to brush their teeth!

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