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What to do if your baby refuses to brush his teeth?

Baby refuses to brush his teeth

Anxiety, impatience, confusion... These are the feelings of parents when their little one refuses something important or beneficial for his health. It is in particular the case when the baby refuses to brush his teeth. 

No need to panic, we reveal some easy to implement tips to overcome this problematic situation and brushing baby's teeth in all serenity.  

Why does my baby refuse to brush his teeth?

Being an invasive act, brushing teeth can be frightening for the most fragile babies, especially since the contact between the toothbrush and the gum is likely to be unpleasant for them. 

This may cause fear or discomfort that should be managed calmly. Forcing your child to brush his or her teeth will not help. On the contrary, you risk making the situation worse.

Furthermore, children develop their personality over time. Refusing what you ask is a way for him to express himself and to impose his presence. The solution is hardly to force him to do what he should do. If you do so, you risk feeding his resistance.

Make it a habit to brushing baby's teeth from a young ageThis will avoid confrontations.

My child doesn't want to brush his teeth: some tips 

Brushing your teeth in front of your child

Research in neuroscience and psychology has shown that imitation greatly influences your child's education. Your little angel's behavior and habits are a reflection of your own as parents. 

So, always make a habit of brushing your teeth in front of your little one. Very soon, he will change his mind and finally ask you for his own toothbrush!

Have a tooth brushing contest

We know that allowing a child to play is the best gift you can give. A tooth brushing contest will help make the routine of cleaning teeth fun.

Explain to your child that the one who can hold out the longest will win. Think of a reward that will motivate them. Don't let it be money or candy, but rather an activity that your child will enjoy.

Another tip for brushing your baby's teeth: tell a story

Invent a story together that will make your toothbrushes talk. Use your imagination and your little one's imagination. Use his favorite cartoon or book to capture his attention and persuade him of the importance of brushing.

It is not a question of passively telling your child's favorite story. What we want to do here is to involve your child in a way that he or she is one of the characters in a rather nice short film. 

Playing dentist

Don't hesitate to play patient-dentist with your child if his age allows it. As with all imitation games, he will quickly get into the game and at the same time, it will allow him to be more confident about his next visit to the dentist. 

You can also do this after watching a video explaining and detailing very well the tooth brushing for children. 

What if you killed two birds with one stone with baby books on brushing teeth?

For children ages 3 and up, toothbrush books are ideal. Not only will they develop a love of reading, but they will also learn excellent oral cleaning habits.

You can opt for Who brushed their teeth? by Christine Beigel and Christine Destours. This is a great book for children ages 2-4, it is colorful and uses fairy tale characters.

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Pediatric dentistry is all about working together for the well-being of your children!


Do you have a question? Dr. Adriana Agachi is at your disposal!

+33 (0)1 84 17 77 47

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