Many toddlers do not want to cooperate when it comes time to brush and floss their teeth every day. While it might seem easier just to skip it, this is putting your child's oral health at risk. Try these four strategies to get your toddler to understand the importance of healthy teeth and to be a willing participant in oral hygiene at home.

Visit the Dentist

Take your child to a dentist who specifically treats children's oral health. A pediatric dentist has a child-friendly office environment with equipment sized to meet a child's needs and comfort. The dentist and hygienists may be able to put your child at ease and explain in child-friendly terms why it is important to brush and floss and to eat healthy foods.

Read Books

Visit the library and choose some books about teeth and dental health. Select a mixture of fun stories and non-fiction books about teeth. By offering your toddler age-appropriate information, he or she will be able to learn about oral health and understand why it is important to have healthy teeth. If you are unsure of how to choose the right books, ask one of the librarians for some recommendations.

Understanding Oral Health

For toddlers, brushing their teeth means stopping all of the fun. Make oral health part of your child's morning and bedtime routines. Professionals, like those at All About Smiles, know that this makes it easier to get your fussy child to participate in the process. Allow your child to have some choices, such as which toothbrush and the flavor of the toothpaste. Have your child choose a two to three minute long song to play while brushing and flossing.

Setting a Good Example

One of the best ways to teach your child good oral health is to set an example of what needs to be done. Brush your teeth alongside of your child. You could even allow your child to operate the toothbrush. Allow your child to watch you floss your teeth, and then floss his or her teeth. Demonstrate healthy eating habits and explain why you choose water over juice or soda for good oral health.

Oral health starts as soon as your child gets his or her first tooth. By making oral hygiene a daily routine, it will be easier for your child to participate in the process. Including your child and allowing him or her to make some choices will make it easier for you to gain cooperation during each teeth brushing and flossing session.

Author's Bio: 

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn't on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber;