Tips for Teaching Kids to Brush Their Teeth
It can sometimes be difficult to get children to brush their teeth. You can’t just ignore the problem and hope that it goes away. Encouraging kids to brush properly is vital starting from a young age. It can have a great impact on their oral health as they get older. But, if you turn into a nag about it, your child may just outright refuse especially if you’re dealing with a toddler.
Use a reward system
Offer the child a reward for brushing their teeth such as additional computer time or another reward. Make sure this isn’t sugary food or treats which will make their teeth worse. For example each time that your child brushes their teeth properly for the full recommended two minutes, you could use stickers, small toys and other similar gifts to give the child after they have brushed their teeth. Rewards can give the child incentive to stick to a regular brushing schedule for their teeth.
Set an example
Another thing you can do is brush your teeth with them and make a game out of it. If the child sees that you are brushing your teeth and enjoying it, then they will want to brush. Let your child see you brushing your teeth for the full two minutes. Even better, brush your teeth at the same time as your child and make it a competition.
Your child can begin brushing their teeth as soon as they have teeth to brush. If they start early, they are going to stick with it over the long term. Your job is to ensure that your children love to brush their teeth. Of course, when your child is very young, it’s more a matter of getting them used to it than actually brushing one or two teeth.
Let them pick
Let them pick their own toothbrush and toothpaste. Don’t use toothpaste that the child doesn’t like as it will be harder to get them to brush as often as you would like them to. Look at the ingredients of the toothpaste your child chooses. Many contain xylitol and fluoride so you’ll need to be sure they choose the best option available. And if the toothpaste tastes good, they’re going to want to brush more often than they would otherwise.
Make it fun
Brushing doesn’t have to be a struggle. Add some fun to the brushing experience. For example, Once upon a time, there was a family dentist named Hilary, who day after day treated tiny patients with big tooth problems. Even her own children refused to brush. So she called her friend, Colleen, a family psychologist who had three little ones who somehow loved brushing. Together, they reimagined how brushing should be and came up with four lovable characters, a helpful book and a simple solution.