Making Oral Health Routines Fun for Your Toddler

April is Oral Health Month!

Taking care of your toddlers teeth |

Like most toddlers, my daughter absorbs every action my partner and I take in the course of our day and follows us around mimicking all of the tasks we undertake in the course of our day like, folding laundry, washing the dishes, and tidying up.

Fortunately, she is turning 3 in a month, so she is old enough to be able to participate in some of those tasks now, instead of just observe, so you can imagine how excited she is to brush her own teeth with us at the sink!

We started looking after her gums when she was an infant; we were advised by our family dentist that it was never too soon to get her accustomed to cleaning her gums. I made a game out of it as she grew (and grew to have her own opinions about me sticking my hands in her mouth!) by making funny faces while cleaning my own, and now that she brushes her teeth - after mommy or daddy does the official brush, of course- she still asks me to make faces at her, and makes her own back at us!

When she was old enough to start using children's toothpaste we let her pick one with her favourite cartoon character at the time, Dora, and she began to get excited about having her very own big girl toothbrush and her own toothpaste, which she sternly informed Daddy he was not to use.
Her first trip to the dentist couldn't have gone any better if we had planned it ourselves. We go to the dentist that I have been seeing since I was a child, so it was really lovely to see him looking at her teeth too. He let her play with the lights and the rinsing sink, splashing water towards her while she squealed with delight. Afterwards, the ladies at the front desk let her sit with them while I filled out my insurance forms, spinning her around in their chairs.

Having such a caring place to take my daughter makes all the difference, especially since toddlers base their own comfort levels from gauging ours, and my little one has a great view of oral health and going to the dentist.

We have tried to make as much fun of it as we can, and as a working family, we often don't have a lot of time for silliness when it comes to oral hygiene. She loves brushing her teeth, and we are so glad - with her burgeoning independence, it's nice to have one less fight on our hands!

April is Oral Health Month! How do you and your family make oral hygiene fun for your little ones?

 RELATED: How Dental Issues Can Affect School Performance 

Late-life mom of one threenager from Toronto, Ontario! When I am not trying to drown out the screaming, I write on my blog Mommies Drink, UrbanMommies,  and Huffington Post Canada.