Getting most toddlers to stand still for two minutes for any reason is near impossible. So how are parents supposed to get them to brush their teeth? (Besides using the jaws of life and a straightjacket.) Thankfully, there are plenty of sneaky tricks to make the twice-daily ritual much more bearable—and even fun—for both you and your kids. We've collected the best teeth-brushing hacks that are sure to let you do the job without a tantrum or a huge mess in the bathroom.
Take advantage of your kid's love of music and use a song to hypnotize her for enough time to provide a thorough brushing. In this video, the mom makes takes a popular tune and adds "gotta brush" to make it perfect for the occasion. But the PAW Patrol theme song would probably do the trick too.
With this method, your toddler gets the satisfaction of holding a brush to play with while you swoop in and do the dirty work with another brush. A win-win for all parties involved.
Play on your toddler's love of watching icky stuff float off her body in the bathtub by pointing out all of the gross things in her mouth that you need to clean. Once she realizes how many germs are in there, she'll be begging you to brush them away.
Let your toddler give brushing a shot and then when he fails (despite the valiant effort) you can fix all of the mistakes. The only downside is that there are sure to be quite a few spots to touch up.
This one might be silly, but it just might work on a toddler. Name everything he ate that day and keep brushing until the leftovers have all been scrubbed away.
While this won't get the kids to open wide, it will make for a cleaner, more efficient brushing experience. Put toothpaste only on the colored bristles, and you'll use the right amount for the brush's intended age group.
Feeling brave? If you can stand a toddler pokinh around your mouth with a dry toothbrush, then you can consider doing a little tandem brushing. Just remind him to stay on the teeth and not veer down your throat.
Transform your boring old bathroom into a kid-friendly water park by filling the sink with enough water for your kid's feet. A refreshing dip is perfect distraction you need while you take care of the brushing. But make sure to enforce a strict "no splashing" policy.
Like any aspiring CEO, your kid wants to make some decisions. Letting her pick which parent does the brushing or the color brush you use gives her a sense of control that should make the whole experience a lot more pleasant.
This requires some teamwork, but it can make brushing go by like a breeze. Either you or your partner needs to ham it up and get your kid smiling and laughing while the other parent sneaks in and does all of the brushing. As the video suggests, keep the giggle going for as long as you need to finish the job.