From toddlers to teens, sometimes getting your children to brush their teeth can be a chore. Either they resist the activity altogether or they just plain old forget to do it. Since consistent teeth-brushing is vital in helping battle tooth decay and developing a lifetime of healthy oral hygiene, it’s important to find ways to encourage your kids to brush.
How can I get my kids to brush their teeth?
- Make brushing fun
You may feel silly at first, but act like you are having lots of fun brushing your own teeth. When your small children see you excited about brushing your teeth, they are likely to follow in your footsteps. Make bedtime more enjoyable by brushing your teeth at the same time. Some children love the excitement of an electric toothbrush, which is an excellent option as long as they are shown by a parent/guardian the right way to use it.
- Let your child pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste
Allowing your child to select their own toothbrush and toothpaste when they brush their teeth will make them feel a part of the process. Be sure to choose a toothpaste brand that tastes good to a child as some adult toothpastes can be overwhelmingly strong in flavor.
- Turn tooth brushing into a game
Learning to brush properly is so important to help combat cavities, so find little games and challenges to keep your child entertained. Sing the alphabet or count brushing time with a special timer to ensure they spend the recommended two minutes brushing. If your child is a big fan of trains, for example, encourage him/her to liken their brushing to the movement of wheels of a train using big circles. Encourage your child to create lots of bubbles with the toothpaste as this will likely increase brushing time.
- Tell them a story
Children love story time so pick out a couple of age appropriate books about tooth brushing and read them before bed. Encourage your child’s own creativity by making up your own story together about sugar monsters and the super hero brush that saved the day. There are also many entertaining oral hygiene videos available online for children.
- Create an oral hygiene chart
As older children phase out of story time and tooth brushing games, consider putting together a Tooth Brushing Chart. Create a monthly calendar for each child and have them collect stars for every time they brush teeth. Have the stars worth a certain number of points that can be redeemed at the end of the month for a small treat. If your child likes to do crafts, make the chart together and decorate it.
- Praise their efforts
Everyone likes to be commended on a job well done. Make sure you spend this important time with your little ones as they learn to care for their own teeth and sing their praises. This will make them look forward to the next tooth brushing session.
If your child resists tooth brushing altogether, it is recommended you ask your dentist for additional advice.
Please contact Cambridge Family Dentistry for a free consultation, especially if you have any questions or concerns about how to help your child fight tooth decay and develop a lifetime of healthy oral hygiene.
Please contact us by calling:
(316) 687-2110 or toll-free (877) 687-2110.
We look forward to meeting you.
The Cambridge Family Dentistry clinic is located at 2020 N. Webb Road in Wichita, Kansas
“Cambridge Family Dentistry – providing world class dental implants for more than 40 years”