Post created in partnership with Orajel…
My son recently made me realize that I talk things up to be “fun” a lot. To redirect him from trying to murder his sister or having a melt down, I’ll say something like “oh wanna do something fun!?” and then we go to another activity. Now, when I give him random directions like… “get your shoes on we’re going outside to check the water tank” he’ll look up at me while shoving his feet in and ask “will it be fun?!” (And of course I have to lie and say yes.)
I have to try and make the mundane fun for my littles when they’re grumpy. But usually they’re making their own fun. Anything can be made fun for a toddler or preschooler, even the “boring” hygiene activities. Luckily my crazy kids love tooth-brushing but if yours don’t….
Here are 4 tips on making brushing fun for preschoolers and toddlers:
1. Start as early as possible
Getting young babies comfortable with having their gums cleaned and their teeth as they start to sprout makes it easier to continue the habit going forward. There are great gum brushers to help clean infants gums. You just pop em on your finger and swipe the baby’s gums, easy peasy. Ro loved his little gum massages but Kaya couldn’t stand them. An older wiser mom told me to brush her gums to the beat while singing her favorite song…and it worked. She wouldn’t fuss or turn away! When she had teething pain I would brush super lightly after giving her those dissolving teething pain tablets.
2. Have “special” tools and products
Anything special is more fun. Rohan has his Orajel Paw Patrol toothpaste that he insists on holding on to while brushing his teeth with his other hand. Kaya has hers with My Little Pony on it. Having the special ‘gear’ for them makes it more fun and exciting to brush their teeth. I’m happy they enjoy it.
You can also have a special song or dance to go along with tooth-brushing to help make it fun. For us, we do the brushing teeth in my bathroom instead of theirs. The double sink lets both kids brush at the same time with no elbowing or whining.
3. Play Games / Competitions
Using apps is a great way to help kids enjoy brushing their teeth. There are a wide variety that help with everything from brushing for at least 2 minutes, to ensuring every tooth is reached.
I also have my two race to brush all their teeth. Whoever finishes first gets a “super speed” brushing from mommy. A fun win for them, and sneaky quality control for me!
You can also twist around games like “red light green light” or “simon says” to make them work for teeth brushing. And a good old fashioned egg timer (or timer on your phone) can add a fun element to “beat the clock” when brushing.
4. Incentivize It
As you know I’m totally down with bribing kids, but a blogging friend of mine said “you’re not bribing, you’re incentivizing!” (I like that!) so if your preschoolers struggle with tooth-brushing maybe incentivize it with something fun. Several moms swear by sticker charts for treats. There’s nothing better than a “if you brush your teeth you can ____.” incentive to make brushing more fun!
I’m grateful my lil guys like brushing their teeth. This is how Rohan makes brushing fun:
I’m excited to partner with Orajel™ as a Smilehood ambassador for 2016. Orajel is one of the most trusted brands of pain relief and oral care solutions for babies and young children and we have used it exclusively for Rohan and Kaya from the teething tablets, to the finger toothbrush to the toothpastes they fight over. I’m joining forces with several moms to share about oral hygiene for out little ones as well as our experiences with the brand.
This post was sponsored by Orajel but you already know everything above is 100% me. Visit Orajel’s website to peep their extensive product line and get tips on keeping your children’s teeth healthy.