Are you struggling to get your kids to brush their teeth twice a day? Brushing your teeth isn’t the most fun activity, and most kids would rather be doing something else. However, if you can teach you kids the importance of brushing their teeth when they are young, they will be able to grow up with good dental hygiene.
So what tactics can you use to get your kids to brush their teeth?
Set an example
Kids learn by what they see. If they see their parents practicing good dental hygiene, they’re going to do the same. Let your kids see you brushing and flossing your teeth. Consider using exaggerated movements so they know exactly what they need to be doing as well.
Educate children about dental hygiene
It’s best if you can start good oral health habits when your child is still young. To help build these habits, you’ll need to explain to children exactly why it is so important for them to brush and floss their teeth. Use age appropriate language – if what you’re saying is too technical or complicated, the message won’t sink in and the children will be confused. You can even encourage children by having regular check ups at a family dentist, so they become used to visiting the dentist’s office.
Reward your children
Children love to know they have done the right thing and will enjoy being rewarded for good behaviour. Consider making a reward system in the form of a calendar which can be filled with stickers. You can even get the kids involved by letting them pick out the calendar and stickers. The children get a sticker every time they brush their teeth. If the month is full of stickers, consider having an even bigger reward for the achievement. Knowing there is a bigger reward will help to keep kids motivated to brush their teeth throughout the month.
Role play teeth brushing
Kids need to learn the correct technique for brushing their teeth. What better way to do this than by undertaking a bit of role play? There are many toys and dolls available which can have their own toothbrush. Otherwise, you can always practice with a spare toothbrush. Getting kids to brush the teeth of their toys and dolls will encourage them to undertake the same activity with their own teeth.
Let children choose their toothbrush and toothpaste
Involve children in all stages by getting them to pick their own toothbrush. This means it’ll have features that they like – it may play music, be their favourite colour or include a character they like. Kids are far more likely to enjoy brushing their teeth if they like the toothbrush.
Consider getting kids to choose their own toothpaste too. Toothpaste that is designed for kids is often packaged with characters, and has a less intense taste than adult toothpaste, meaning kids are going to like it more. Children under three years old can even get
what is called “training toothpaste”, which will have a kid-friendly taste, and is safer to swallow.
Brushing your teeth isn’t the most exciting activity. To make it more enjoyable for children, try and turn what is seen as a chore into a game. Kids need to be brushing their teeth for two minutes, which can seem like a long time when you’re young. To keep track of the time, you can use an egg timer or even just the stopwatch on your mobile phone to turn it into a race or competition if there are multiple children. Just make sure children maintain the correct brushing technique while racing – you don’t want children to end up with damaged gums. If the child makes it to the end of the two minutes, they can then receive the reward such as the sticker on their calendar.
Disney Magic Timer App
Think you’ve tried every tactic to get your kids to brush their teeth? Fortunately, getting your kids to brush their teeth just got easier. Oral B has made an app called “Disney Magic Timer App.” The free app has resulted in 98% of kids brushing for longer. The app features 23 Disney, Marvel and Star Wars characters. Kids receive a new digital sticker once they successfully brush their teeth for two minutes. The app tracks children’s progress with stars and milestone badges on a calendar. The app is available to download on both the App Store and Google Play.
Following these tips will ensure your kids will be brushing their teeth daily and it will no longer become a gruelling task. Instead, brushing their teeth will become a task kids will willingly participate in and even enjoy.