I've always been very lucky with my teeth and never had any problems. I also remember the fun of cleaning my teeth as a child and I really hope to pass that on to my children as well.
But about 5 months ago, Arthur would not let a toothbrush near his mouth and it drove me mental. There was nothing I could do to make clean his teeth so we started from scratch and because of that experience I've now got a few tips.
- Be persistent. I always make sure Arthur cleans his teeth before he gets dressed for a couple of reasons. Firstly he always manages to get water down himself, I think this now apart of the fun of cleaning his teeth. The second is that it's now part of his routine, which works in my favour, I say to him "let's go clean our teeth, then get changed", it's the only way to get him upstairs to get dressed sometimes.
- A brand new electric toothbrush. He'd always seen me and Jon with our electric toothbrush and when we first used to clean his teeth I always made the noise of an electric toothbrush. So when Arthur went off using his normal baby toothbrush, I thought I'd upgrade him to an elastric toothbrush which Arthur though was great! He loved turning it on and off and the sensation didn't both him at all, in fact he would clean his teeth even longer because of it.
- Clean your teeth at the same time. When Arthur watches my clean my teeth he wants to join in as well. I make a game of getting him to copy Mummy and clean certain areas of his mouth.
- Keep the tap running and let them put their toothbrush under whenever they like. Arthur's favourite part of cleaning his teeth his to sucking the cold water off the brush, so once he's actually cleaned his teeth he then just plays with the water for a bit. For him this makes cleaning his teeth much more fun and probably the only reason why he does.
- A foot stall really helped. He loves being able to stand on the foot stall and put the toothbrush under the water himself. It makes him feel very grown up.
- We make cleaning teeth in the bath apart of his bath time routine. So he always cleans his teeth with me in the morning, then in evening he always cleans them in the bath just before he gets out. So he can run the toothbrush under the tap before we take him into his room to get dry.
I hope this has helped some of you mother's with toddlers who won't clean their teeth. It usually just a phase that won't last long. I think the main thing is to not make a big deal out of it, and try and make it more fun.
I also do know that when children are teething the last thing they want is a toothbrush in their mouths, so remember to take this into consideration as well.