Getting your kids to brush their teeth is often a challenge, and many parents find themselves nagging and bribing their kids to make sure they take part in this healthy routine. But, it doesn’t have to be a battle! If you want to encourage the process without constantly reminding your children how important it is, you are in the right place. Follow these tips and you can get your kids to brush their teeth with ease!
1. Encourage Twice Daily Brushing
The American Dental Association advises that kids brush their teeth with a soft-bristle toothbrush twice a day. Brushing their teeth twice daily can help your child avoid cavities and other dental problems. You should try to make sure that your children get in the habit of brushing their teeth after breakfast and right before bedtime.
2. Make It a Routine
Kids tend to resist having to brush their teeth. One trick that may help get your children more excited about brushing their teeth is introducing it as a new habit that you do with them. Kids tend to be more excited about sharing a new activity with their parents, and it can help them enjoy brushing their teeth more. So, grab your toothbrush and brush along!
3. Give Your Child Some Choice
Having some choice is empowering for kids and can go a long way in getting your kid to brush their teeth. Let your child choose the color of toothbrush that they will use or consider having a rotating supply of toothpaste flavors to keep it interesting. Giving your kids some say in how they brush their teeth will help them feel in control of their new habit.
4. Teach the Importance of Brushing
It can be helpful for you to explain how important it is to brush their teeth every day and how it helps them stay healthy. Explain to your kids that brushing their teeth removes food that causes cavities and allows them to keep away bacteria to keep their mouth healthy. Keep this tip age-appropriate. For example, if you have a four-year-old, let them know it cleans their teeth and gets rid of germs. It’s simple, and they will understand the concept without being overwhelmed.
5. Add More Fun
Try to make this chore more fun by creating an experience out of it. For example, studies show that children brush their teeth 73% longer while listening to music. So make a toothbrushing playlist with their favorite songs to add excitement. If music isn’t your thing, read your kids their favorite book to help make the minutes go by. These simple elements can help create a positive experience, and they might even start looking forward to this new routine!
6. Reward Good Behavior
Consider creating a visual chart to start to get your kids to brush their teeth. After brushing, you can give them a sticker to place on the chart. The small reward reinforces good behavior and the healthy habit they are forming when cleaning their pearly whites. After they get a certain number of stars, then offer something special, such as a small trinket or a trip to the park! Positive reinforcement is often enough for children to continue with how often they brush their teeth.
7. Be Patient
Getting your children to brush their teeth can be a frustrating experience, but you need to keep your cool. If they sense your frustration you’ll quickly turn your efforts sour. Remember that children learn by what you do and how you treat them. If you set a good example and continue to be patient, your kids will start understanding how important brushing their teeth is too. So take a deep breath and help them through this!
Follow these tips to help teach your kids how to start taking better care of their teeth without it being a struggle. Habits take time, but if you stick with it and incorporate brushing into their daily life, you’ll ensure that they continue this healthy oral care routine well into the future!
Written by Mouthwatchers, LLC Staff - February 2022