Getting a toddler to do anything can be quite challenging, and getting my 2 year old daughter, Kayleigh, to brush her teeth was no exception. While she absolutely loved licking the strawberry banana flavored toothpaste off the toothbrush, she just would not actually brush her teeth. I tried to help her out, but every time I would go near her mouth with the toothbrush, she would throw her body to the floor, flail her arms and legs about, and scream as loud as she could in a fit of rage. It was always a nightmare, to say the least.
One day, the topic of toddler teeth brushing came up in my Moms Facebook group. A lot of us were complaining about how difficult it was to get our toddlers to brush their teeth without throwing a fit, and then this one Mom in our group chimed in with a trick that worked for her. She told her son that he had “sugar bugs” in his teeth and that he needed to brush his teeth really good to get rid of them before they destroyed his teeth.
I thought this idea was worth a shot, but the term “bugs” really kind of grossed me out, so I changed it to “sugar monsters” instead. I tried it the very next night. I told Kayleigh that she had sugar monsters in her teeth and that we needed to brush them really well to get rid of them before they destroyed her teeth. And guess what?! It actually worked! I could not even believe it. She thought it was the funniest thing ever, and brushed her teeth really well to get rid of them, and she even let me go over them with the toothbrush after. Who knew it would be so easy to get my toddler to brush her teeth?!
I thought it must have been a fluke, so I tried it again the next day, and the day after that, and every day since then, and it has worked every single time. Kayleigh no longer gives me any trouble at all when brushing her teeth. She does a pretty good job at brushing them by herself now, but she will also let me go over them with the toothbrush after she has, just to make sure we got rid of all of the “sugar monsters”.
I will usually say to her, “Open your mouth and let me see if you got all the sugar monsters.” She will open her mouth, and then I will say something like “Oh, I see two sugar monsters in there. I’ve got to brush them out before they ruin your teeth!” She will giggle, then open her mouth up wide, and let me brush away. As I’m brushing her teeth, I say things like “Oh no! He’s trying to run away from me! I’ve got to get him!” I always end her tooth brushing session by saying “Yay! We got all the sugar monsters!” She laughs with delight, and I feel relieved that once again she did not throw a fit about getting her teeth brushed. I can also rest easy knowing that they are clean.
Are there any special tricks you use to get your toddler to brush their teeth? I’d love to hear! Share in the comments!