Motivating your kids to brush their teeth can be a trying task. If you make it fun, they will be more likely to do it without you having to remind them. Be consistent with your children and eventually they will develop good oral hygiene habits. Here are some tips for getting your children to brush their teeth.
Ditch the Boring Toothbrush
Let your children pick out their own toothbrush. There are tons of fun options including their favorite characters, different colors, or even toothbrushes that play songs! Tooth Tunes are toothbrushes that play a 2-minute song, so your kids know that when the song is over, they are finished brushing their teeth. Or, take this Disney toothbrush set by Oral B which comes with matching toothpaste!
Get Colored Floss
Okay, we know this isn’t technically ‘brushing,’ but flossing is equally as important. In fact, children should learn to floss as soon as they have two teeth that are touching. Since most children don’t have the dexterity to floss yet, handheld flossers are one way to help them floss efficiently. These brightly colored flossers come in fun colors and are grape-flavored, so it’s not a scary or boring adult floss, it looks like it is made for kids.
Create a Rewards Checklist
Use a calendar dedicated to brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. Your children can initial next to the day each time they complete a task. You can also give them stickers that they can put on the board once they are done brushing and flossing. Kids love stickers, so let them know that every time they finish brushing and flossing their teeth, they get another sticker on their checklist next to their name. At the end of a given week, if they have received all of their stickers, give them a reward of your choosing.
If a parent or guardian is involved in the teeth brushing process, kids will have more fun and will be more excited to participate. Try setting an egg timer for 30 seconds and let your child go first, after thirty seconds it is your turn to brush your own teeth. Then, let your kid brush their teeth for another 30 seconds. Continue to do this until you have each brushed your teeth for a total of two minutes. Engaging with your children in this activity will make the process more fun for them.
Read to Them
There are countless children’s books on the market that relate to brushing and dental care. When you read to your children, they will learn from the stories you tell them and the illustrations will help them relate to the process of brushing their teeth. The more you read to your kids about dental care, the more excited they will be when it is their turn to brush!
Show Them How Excited You are About Brushing
Your kids will learn from watching you, so if you show them that you are excited and happy about brushing and flossing, they will be too. Don’t approach this as a chore; instead, show them that it is a fun and worthwhile habit. Come up with your own ways to teach them that this is a good thing to do. Smile and be happy when you tell them it is time to brush their teeth, and they will begin to associate brushing and flossing as a thing to look forward to, instead of a chore they need to accomplish.
What do you do with your little ones to encourage them to brush their teeth? At Rock Ridge Family Dentistry, we want your children to learn these good habits early on in their life. Creating a foundation for good oral hygiene will lead them to a lifetime of healthy smiles.
Contact us today to schedule your appointment.