Mother & Baby (Australia) - - Real Advice -

Q Ev­ery time we go to brush my daugh­ter’’s teeth (she’s just over two), she kicks up such a fuss. We’ve tried dif­fer­ent brushes and tooth­pastes, but noth­ing seems to work. I know we’ve got to clean her teeth, but she makes it re­ally dif­fi­cult. Any tips? A Lois Haultain, par­ent­ing

ex­pert says: It’s im­por­tant you re­lax and breathe deeply be­fore you say it’s time for tooth-brush­ing. If your face, voice and body lan­guage dis­play ten­sion she will pick up on that and be­come fear­ful her­self.

I suggest you make it clear it has to hap­pen and em­pathise: ‘I know you don’t like hav­ing your teeth brushed. Every­body has to have their teeth brushed, in­clud­ing you, even though you feel sad about that’.

Of­fer an in­cen­tive, such as: ‘When your teeth are brushed you can have a pig­gy­back ride to the bed­room’, or ‘Let’s get your teeth brushed now so we have time for two sto­ries tonight’.

Try to of­fer a choice be­tween brushes, tooth­pastes or sit­ting on your lap or a chair.

Try using a timer or buzzer for dis­trac­tion, and soothe her and of­fer praise for do­ing well. Per­se­vere and fin­ish up with a big hug.

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