5 Easy Ways to Get Kids Brushing
If you struggle to get your kids to brush their teeth, you are not alone. That is why we’ve put together a list of 5 easy ways to get kids brushing. It’s common for children to be fussy or uncooperative when it comes time to brush. But never fear, with time and encouragement your child will become a champion brusher!
1. Brush Together
Brushing at the same time as your child sets an example and makes brushing a bonding time between you and your child. While you brush, make sure you brush twice daily, use proper techniques, and brush for a minimum of two minutes.
2. Positive Reinforcement
While brushing with your child, compliment them and encourage them when they are using proper technique. Talk to them about the benefits of oral hygiene. You can also keep a calendar or chart that keeps track of their daily brushing then reward them for consistently brushing correctly over a period of time. Using a chart is especially useful for older children who are beginning to brush without supervision. Try to avoid bribery with money or food, as this can reinforce their belief that brushing is an undesirable activity.
3. Let Them Pick
Take your child to pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste. Kids toothbrushes come in a wide variety of colors and cartoon characters. Let your child pick one with his or her favorite color and character, then allow them to pick out a couple toothpaste options in their favorite flavors and colors.
4. Start ’em Young
Establish a clear routine when your baby’s teeth start growing in. The best time to do this is once in the morning, after breakfast, and once in the evening, before bed. Once your child is a toddler encourage them to begin brushing on their own, keeping the same routine. During your routine make a point to encourage your child and reinforce the importance of brushing twice daily.
5. Make it a Game
While you are brushing with your child sing a song or make small fun games to play with them. During the two minutes of brushing, you can make it a fun competition to see which one of you can maintain good form for the full two minutes. Another way is to see who can create the most bubbles while brushing. There are a number of great free smartphone apps that aim at making brushing fun. Singing a song can make the time pass more quickly, and singing the catchy tunes throughout the day will reinforce the importance of brushing.
If you have exhausted all these tactics and your child still refuses to brush regularly, do not hesitate to reach out to your Pediatric Dentist. She will be able to give you a plan of action that is tailored specifically to your child.