Last week I talked about getting your child to brush their teeth. The next step is getting them to spit. This is the challenge I am facing with my son now. He loves brushing his teeth, but we are struggling with getting him to spit. The biggest challenge is that he brushes, swallows, and then tries to spit. He hasn’t figured out how to brush and then spit out the saliva in his mouth. Since he’s three, we figure it’s time to switch to a toothpaste that has a little more fluoride in it, but now the challenge is making sure he spits it out.
So, what to do when you want to teach your child to spit?
Well, we having been trying a couple different methods, and while we haven’t mastered the task, I think that with repetition and trying different methods, he will eventually get the hang of it. Kids learn things in their own time, and if he doesn’t master it right away, it’s not the end of the world. Here are some different methods we have tried.
This is probably the classic go-to when trying to teach your child to brush their teeth. Show them how to do it. We tried brushing our teeth with Jack, but he just spits air after he has swallowed. Maybe it will work for you!
I’ve been doing pretty well with this method. Get your child to put water in their mouth and then spit it back out. Jack is really good at this part. After they spit out the water a couple times, I brush a portion of his teeth and try to get him to spit. He usually swallows, so I change my method to giving him water after I brush a section of his teeth to spit out. It’s a slow process, but I feel like by repeating the water, he’s getting used to spitting. Eventually he’ll figure it out.
Make it a Game
I do this one in combination with the water. We try to hit the middle of the sink with our water/spit. Jack likes the game and it gives them motivation to spit something out of their mouth.
Try a Stronger Peppermint Toothpaste
While I haven’t tried this method, I though it might be worth a try. The idea is that in using a stronger peppermint flavor, your child won’t like it and spit it out. Have you ever tried this? Let me know what you think!
Whether your child learns how to spit quickly or slowly, don’t give up. Be consistent, and eventually they’ll pick it up. I’ll keep you updated on Jack’s progress!