Step 1) Have fun with brushing!
Below is a teeth brushing song I made for my own daughters and patients. They love singing the song, and brushing while watching the video. It’s two minutes long! (Don’t worry, you don’t have to spend that long with a two year old as long as you help them get the spots they missed.)
Step 2) See Step 1: Keep trying to make brushing fun.
Yes, you need to help brush your kids teeth to keep them healthy, and it is perfectly normal for toddlers to be uncooperative. Let your kids know you are doing it out of love, and it will work out. Don’t give up! Here is a page of 25 more ideas to make brushing fun if you still want more ideas! For more resources, check out the resources page.
Step 3) Be efficient with brushing!
Some areas of the mouth are harder to reach than others. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. If you know exactly how to get each area, you can clean every square millimeter of the teeth, and be as efficient as possible. It’s quality, not quantity, especially when you are helping a toddler.
As far as actual brushing technique, if you know exactly where to go, you can reach all of the areas that are usually missed (I know where I fix cavities at work all day, so I know where to focus on.) When your child turns 6 or 7, then convert to two minutes twice a day. If you are giving your child the right foods, you can spend less time brushing their teeth under age 6. Doesn’t that sound nice!
Step 4) Have less to brush!
If there is still food on the teeth and your child ate more than 5 minutes ago, it’s better to pick different food. By following the snack guide, you will see some healthy foods are stickier than you think! It took me years before I figured out that crackers and dry cereal are about 9 times as sticky as fresh bread or a bagel! So, stick with the snack guide, with snacks like apples, cheese, and toast, instead of dried fruit, crackers, and dried cereals for snacks, and you will find there is no food to brush!
Your job just became 9 times easier!
For a printable version, visit the Tooth Snack Guide page.