Getting your kids to brush their teeth can be nearly as difficult as getting them to eat their veggies, but helping them to develop a solid teeth-brushing regimen is essential for battling tooth decay and a habit of good oral hygiene for life. Instead of giving up and ultimately having to make lots of trips to your dentist in Stuart for fillings and other treatments, follow these tips for motivating your child to brush.
Buy a fun brush
A fun-shaped toothbrush, like a cartoon-character theme or an electric toothbrush gets some kids excited about brushing. Ideally, let him or her pick out the toothbrush, providing even more motivation to use it.
You might create a chart, keeping track of when your child brushes and flosses. Let him or her make a checkmark with a colored marker, or place a star sticker after each task is performed. If an entire week is checked off, or starred, for example, your child earns a non-food reward for accomplishing the goal.
Brush your teeth at the same time
Remember, children learn by example, and since they naturally want to be like you, brushing your teeth at the same time is a great way for them to develop good oral care habits.
Use a smartphone app
There are lots of free and fun apps with brushing timers available, featuring bright colors, catchy music, and demonstration videos to make brushing more of a good time rather than a chore.
Make it part of the normal morning and bedtime routine
Creating routines are a great way to instill habits, such as doing bath time, brushing teeth and a bedtime story, in that order.
Use the Internet
There are so many great tools these days for getting kids to brush their teeth, including music videos you can find online, like “Teach Me How to Brushy,” produced by the Ad Council and The Partnership for Health Mouths, Healthy Lives.
Make a game out of it
Find the fun in brushing teeth by making it a game, it could be as simple as “I bet I can brush my teeth better than you.”
Choose the Right Toothpaste
No matter what type of toothpaste you buy, you’ll need to consider taste first as a child who likes the flavor of the toothpaste is more likely to enjoy brushing.
Introduce a puppet friend
If your child is too young to brush his or her own teeth, but doesn’t like having mom or dad help, use a puppet friend. You could even make it a dentist character that teaches your child the best way to brush their teeth.
Practice on a doll or stuffed animal
Asking your child to practice on one of their dolls or a stuffed animals with an old toothbrush, not only helps them get a feel for proper technique but it makes the activity itself feel more fun. Afterward, your child can brush his or her own teeth.
Get the dentist involved
Finally, be sure to let your hygienist and dentist in Stuart about the difficulties you’re having when it comes to brush time battles. He and she can help by reminding your child about why it’s so important, and demonstrating proper technique.