Brushing your teeth is an extremely important habit to get into when it comes to developing and maintaining good oral hygiene. Although it is extremely important and relatively simple, parents often find it difficult to encourage their children to brush regularly. Failing to brush can lead to cavities and oral health problems, which can in turn lead to visits to the dentist. If you have trouble getting your kids to brush their teeth, try the following tips:
- Give rewards:
If your kids have trouble brushing their teeth regularly, reward them for consistent brushing. Consider developing a rewards chart which allows them to choose a new toy or a treat when they have brushed consistently for a certain number of days.
- Let them choose their own toothbrush:
If you have younger children, let them choose a toothbrush which they like the look of, which interests them, and which they will be likely to use. This can lead to regular brushing without any encouragement.
- Make brushing fun!
There are plenty of ways thats you can make tooth brushing fun. Read your kids a story while they are brushing their teeth, sing them a song, or make up a fantasy world which can only be explored during brushing time!
- Teach them why they are brushing:
Doing this will help satisfy your children’s curiosity, and may give them a decent foundation to work on when it comes to consistently brushing their teeth into the future. If your children understand how important brushing is from a young age, they will be more likely to do it consistently.
- Let your kids choose the toothpaste:
One of the most common complaints by children is that they ‘don’t like the toothpaste’. If your child complains about this, consider letting them choose their own toothpaste – the few extra dollars will be worth it!
- Brush with them:
If all else fails, then lead by example. Children are heavily influenced by their parents. If your children are having trouble motivating themselves to brush their teeth regularly, then let them watch you brush at the same time – it might be good for you as well!
- Use a dissolving agent:
You can buy dissolving tablets which highlight plaque and old food stuck to your children’s teeth. Use something like this so that they can see how dirty their teeth are and how important it is to brush.
- Let them choose a song:
If your children are reluctant to brush their teeth, let them choose a ‘toothbrushing song’, which they can only listen to while they are brushing. This will definitely motivate them!
- Let them brush their doll’s teeth:
If you have young children, let them practice brushing on their dolls or teddies. This can encourage good habits, and will make them more likely to want to brush their own teeth.
- Use technological help:
There are plenty of apps out there which are designed to encourage regular brushing. Some reward your children with virtual prizes and rewards every time they brush their teeth, and penalise them when they don’t.