Getting your kids to brush their teeth can sometimes feel like an ongoing game of tug-of-war between you and them. As their parent, you want them to have healthy, white teeth and learn best practices for brushing their teeth. You don’t want them to dislike this everyday practice and end up not taking good care of their teeth.
At Signature Dental, we understand how difficult it can be to get kids to learn and practice healthy oral hygiene habits. Kids just want to play and have fun. Incorporating play and fun into brushing teeth can help make it feel like less of a chore and more like a game. Here are 5 ways to get your kids to love brushing their teeth.
Brush With Your Kids and Smile!
Kids learn by watching their parents. So every night when you’re preparing for bed, let your kids brush their teeth with you. And smile while doing so!
That’s what your kids should see from you when it’s time for you to brush your teeth. If your attitude about brushing your teeth is positive, your kids will feel better about brushing their teeth, too.
Keeping a positive attitude about all aspects of oral hygiene, including brushing, can also help your child with visits to the dentist, too. Good oral hygiene leads to healthier teeth and making dentist visits a much more pleasant experience.
Let Your Kids Pick Out Their Toothbrush
Little kids love to be able to do things themselves. The “me do” stage of development is them learning how to be more independent. Giving your kid the opportunity to pick out their own toothbrush gives them a chance to do something about their own oral hygiene, whether they actually realize that or not.
Let your kids pick out their own toothpaste too. Children’s toothpastes come in a variety of flavors and cool looking containers. The minty adult toothpastes can often taste harsh to a child. Kids also don’t need the whitening formulas that are included in many adult toothpastes.
Your Kid’s Favorite Characters Love to Brush Their Teeth Too
Every kid has their favorite character from TV, movies, and books. These characters become their friends. To add more fun when brushing their teeth, your kids’ toothpaste and toothbrushes can look like their favorite characters. There are also many coloring books, books, and video’s that portray well-known characters doing the same daily routines your kids do, including brushing their teeth.
The characters from Sesame Street have teamed up with the American Dental Association and Mouth Healthy Kids and created videos to teach kids about oral hygiene. In a music video geared toward children ages 2 to 5 called “Brushy Brush,” the Sesame Street Character Elmo sings to your kids about the importance of brushing their teeth.
Give Rewards to Motivate Kids to Brush Their Teeth
Kids do better when they can see how they’re working towards a goal. Brushing their teeth twice a day is an attainable goal for them. Giving them a small reward for achieving that goal helps them feel good about what they did. You can do this using an easy reward system.
A simple system such as stars on a calendar or a chart for every day they brush their teeth can help them see their progress. When they’ve accomplished brushing their teeth twice a day for a period of time, such as a week, you can reward them with a small prize such as a new book or extra time to play video games. This will not only give them motivation to brush their teeth, but also teach them to work for their goals.
Show Your Kids Why They Should Love to Brush Their Teeth
Having your child use disclosing tablets, also called a dissolving agent, can help them see how important it is to brush their teeth. When the tablet is chewed, any plaque on their teeth will turn a pink or red color.
You can explain to them that this is plaque, a substance on their teeth that can cause cavities if it’s not brushed off daily. Use positive, encouraging words. Don’t scare them, or use going to the dentist as a punishment for not brushing.
Getting Your Kids to Love Going to the Dentist, Too
Getting your kids to love brushing their teeth can help them love going to the dentist too. The dentist doesn’t have to be a scary thing for kids. If their teeth are well-cared for, their trip to the dentist should be an easy check-up. They can be proud to tell their dentist of how well they brush their teeth twice a day, every day.
A professional dental office, such as Signature Dental, can help you explain to your child what good oral hygiene is and why they need to care for their teeth. The trained staff at Signature Dental has the resources available to help you get your kids to love brushing their teeth and going to the dentist.