Brushing teeth is an important life long habit to instill in your children while their young. However, few young children will do it on their own without some clever encouragement. How can you make brushing something they look forward to doing?
Young kids only like to do things which seem interesting to them. They’re too young to fully grasp the importance of teeth brushing so even the best logical explanation won’t help. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to make brushing a happy and pleasurable experience both for you and your kid. Here are some tips to help you out.
Kids love imitating you – their parents. You are your kid’s first role model and teacher. Brush and floss your teeth at the same time as your child. Also let them see you brushing and flossing daily. Brush at the same time in the morning and evening to establish a consistent routine.
Make It Fun
Make brushing part of of fun routine – wearing matching pajamas and brushing or brushing to your kid’s favorite song or nursery story. Hutta & Cook Orthodontics recommends getting your kid a toothbrush with their favorite color, character or superhero. Allow your child to pick the brush. Having a brush they picked may be all that’s needed to get them to brush. If you like the spotlight you can sing special songs to make brushing more fun.
Go For Taste
Choose a toothpaste specially made for kids, it will have a taste they’ll like better. Kids tend to swallow toothpaste – make sure to pick a floride-free option.
If nothing works and your child won’t brush their teeth or won’t let you do it for them, try incentivizing them. Make a rewards chart where they can keep track of their brushing and earn rewards after completing a set number of consistent brushings.
Use Educational Tools
Sometimes the message needs to come from someone other than you [the parent] to be heard. Consider reading to your kid’s dental hygiene stories like Clarabella’s Teeth; Brush, Brush, Brush and I Know Why I Brush My Teeth. There are also wonderful videos like Kids Teach Kids About Dental Hygiene and How to Brush Your Teeth Properly – For Kids.
Finally, on tough days, when your child is absolutely impossible, just gently brush their teeth when they are asleep. Children tend to be heavy sleepers and probably won’t even know you did it.
Good dental care is one of the four most important healthy habits for children. Click here to learn what the other three are.