IT ISN’T ALWAYS easy to teach a young child important life skills. They have boundless energy and short attention spans, so a session of sitting still with a toothbrush isn’t always going to go as planned. Following these tips might help when imparting these essential skills:

1. Show them that brushing is a priority. If brushing their teeth comes across to them as an inconvenient chore, they’ll see dental hygiene as an inconvenience. Frame it as something easy but unskippable — a part of every morning and evening.

2. Feel free to move brushing outside of the bathroom. All it takes is a toothbrush to brush a child’s teeth wherever it’s easiest. It could save a lot of frustration.

3. Using toothpaste isn’t as important as using a toothbrush. If the child practiced their finger-painting skills with the entire toothpaste tube, simply brush without it until it’s possible to get more.

4. Let the child choose their own toothbrush. This will help them feel more ownership over the process and make it more exciting.

5. When possible, brush in front of the mirror so they can watch how the process works. It will also help them feel more involved.

6. Make brushing fun! They’ll be happier to cooperate if it’s presented like a game. Maintain a cheerful attitude and play fun music in time with their two minutes of brushing.

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