Bring the fun and silliness back into your toddler’s daily teeth brushing routine

It’s no secret that toddlers can turn the most simple of tasks into a back-and-forth battle of wills.

Call it terrible twos, or a growing sense of independence – but when it comes to these pint-sized rulers; basic things like grocery shopping, mealtimes and bedtime become, er, a tad difficult to say the least.

And more complex things, like, say, teeth brushing? Ha! That can become nearly impossible.

They run. They hide. They protest. They cry… anything they can do to avoid it.

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Now, you can very well skip dinner if your toddler refuses to eat, let him walk around in just his nappy if he’s sworn off clothes and leave the grocery store mid-meltdown if it will save your sanity.

But, allowing your toddler to forego brushing his teeth? Well, that’s a no-no…

Because we all know how important it is to keep our kids’ pearly whites clean and strong.

Luckily, organic skincare brand Pure Beginnings, has a few tricks up their sleeve when it comes to making brushing teeth more fun.

READ MORE: 6 Annoying toddler habits that are actually beneficial to their development

Here, they share three tips that encourage moms to get creative and bring the silliness back into their toddler’s daily brushing routine:

1. Make it fun!

As part of bath time routine or before night time stories, you can clean your little one’s teeth or gums with a fun finger puppet like The Brushies, or simply by rubbing the gums with a wet, warm, clean facecloth.

The Brushies is a book and animal finger-puppet-toothbrush duo. The characters (100% safe BPA-free toothbrush-finger puppets) “help fight off the sugary, bad bugs trying to harm our teeth”.

Together they “protect gums, ensuring a fresh breath, strong teeth and a bright smile”. All you need to do is “let them in” twice a day.

The Brushies is a fantastic book and toothbrush combo – but, with a little imagination you can think up your own version at home – the idea is to get creative!

2. Start early…

The earlier you start, the less you’re bound to struggle. You also needn’t wait until the teeth appear through the gums to begin brushing – wiping your baby’s gums is important too!

3. Use your imagination

Encouraging lifelong healthy habits at home sometimes requires imagination and creativity, but once mastered, it is fun for everyone!

  • Roll play teeth brushing with a doll or favourite teddy bear
  • Let your toddler choose his own toothbrush and keep it in a special place
  • Teach your tot why it is important to brush her teeth and let her point to the teeth she thinks need cleaning
  • Sing songs together (such as the ABCs)
  • Make it a family event with everyone doing it together
  • Princes and princesses, dragons which breathe fire… pretend the toothbrush is a ballerina doing twirls across her teeth, or discuss how teeth need to be shone so that your toddler can ROAR like a fierce lion!

Did you know?

There is a growing trend toward going fluoride-free when it comes to toothpastes, especially for children.

The risk of fluoride to our health is something that everyone needs to understand. There is, of course, overwhelming evidence that fluoride is effective in preventing tooth decay when applied topically (along with evidence that too much fluoride may cause fluorosis and is detrimental to your health!).

There are however, not enough studies done on the long term, low dose, repeated exposure to fluoride and the impact it has on your health.

Dentists are now recommending xylitol instead of fluoride in toothpaste.

How is xylitol toothpaste more beneficial than fluoride toothpaste?

Xylitol stops cavity-causing germs from infecting the teeth. It creates a protective layer on the teeth that prevents the bacteria in plaque from attaching to the enamel. Using the right amount of xylitol helps prevent tooth damage before it begins.

Naturally produced in small amounts in the body, xylitol is safe for children and adults.

READ MORE: 5 Tips to help your toddler overcome a fear of dentists

Pure Beginning’s toothpastes are fluoride free and are safe to swallow. They have gentle, natural flavours, and contain Xylitol which is endorsed by many dental associations worldwide for its ability to inhibit the growth of bacteria that cause tooth decay.

Enter here to win The Brushies Book as well as Pure Beginnings’ Baby and Kids fluoride-free toothpastes, and an Earth Brush kiddies tooth brush.