How To Win The War . . . With Your 2 Year Old

As a parent, you have to pick your battles.

Blue socks or red. TV or no TV. Homework now or later.

But when it comes to caring for your children’s teeth, there is only one answer. You have to win the war.

If getting your toddler or preschooler to brush their teeth is a nightly struggle and mere persuasion fails, you have to get creative. It’s often trial and error, but here are some tips to get some arsenal in your corner:

1. Recruit Disney

Or Pixar, or Nick Jr. Find a toothbrush (better yet, let them pick it out) with a character your child gets excited about and build up the hype. And I mean LOTS of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’. My daughter practically drools over anything Dora, and I’m not ashamed to use this.

(A reminder: if you let them brush first, make sure you get a turn to brush their teeth as well to ensure a thorough job.)

Another alternative-a kids’ electric toothbrush. And if mommy and daddy use one, I can almost guarantee your kid’s gonna want to try it out too.

2. Poetry in motion

This is, perhaps, a little unconventional, but sometimes, you have to be. Here is a short poem to recite with your child, especially if he/she likes to read. Just print it out (in large size font) and attach to their bathroom mirror:

Can You See My Teeth

Can you see my teeth?
I use them to chew.
I chew things like carrots
so my teeth stay like new.

Can you see my teeth?
I use them to bite.
I bite things like apples
so my teeth will stay white.

Can you see my teeth?
I use them to speak.
I say “t” and “f”
every day of the week.

Can you see my teeth?
I use them to smile.
I brush until my grin
is as wide as a mile!

~Author Unknown

3. This video won’t make it on MTV

Advertisers have been using bright colors and music to get kids’ attention for years. So can you.

Here is a neat video a la YouTube (there are many, many more) that you can load on your smart phone. Just hit play and let them follow along:

Keep in mind that this is just the tip of the iceberg; if one technique doesn’t work, try another. And another, till you succeed. All your efforts will be worth the end result-a good habit built early on that serves your children for a lifetime. That’s a victory for both sides.

As and when I find some other worthy tips, I’ll add a Part 2 to this post.

Do you have some tips and tricks that worked on your toddler to get him/her to brush their teeth?

(214) 522-3110



Filed under Children's dentistry

5 responses to “How To Win The War . . . With Your 2 Year Old

  1. Emily

    Thanks! Love the video idea! My kids would totally go for that. I have a 5 and 3 year old and we’ve definitely had our tooth battles. I’ve also found this Mom’s Guide to have some good info and helpful tips.

  2. Thank you Emily! I’m glad you found some helpful ideas!

  3. Pingback: Modern Dental Practice Marketing » Blog Archive » How to Write a Great Dental Blog Post

  4. Pingback: 7 Smart Tips for All You Baby Mamas | Ritu Rao, DDS

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