Getting Kids to Brush

kids brushing teethEverybody knows that dental hygiene is necessary for good oral health. However, as any parent can confirm, many small children don’t seem to be convinced. If tooth brushing is a twice-daily battle at your house, your kids probably are neither giving their mouths the care they deserve nor understanding the importance of keeping their teeth and gums clean. Here are some handy tips that can encourage your kids to care about—and even enjoy—brushing their teeth.

Spice Things Up

For most kids, the problem with brushing their teeth is simply that they’d rather be doing something more exciting, like playing with their toys. Therefore, you should focus on making the task fun! You can try holding bubble-making contests with other family members, making silly noises as you brush, or bringing in a doll or stuffed animal that can “brush” along with your child. If your child is neat enough, consider letting them leave the bathroom and brush while they watch TV or read.

Let Them Choose

Another good option is to give your children more control. For example, let them choose a toothbrush in a fun color or toothpaste that comes in the flavor they like. If you use a timer to ensure that they’re brushing long enough, then let them set it on their own. Your kids will be so proud of the fact that they made these decisions by themselves that they’ll all but forget the mundaneness of brushing their teeth.

Positive Reinforcement

Children tend to respond better to praise than to nagging or yelling, so if you congratulate them on brushing their teeth they are more likely to want to do it again. You can also try using a chart with stickers to keep track of their brushing, with an occasional reward for doing a thorough, consistent job.

Education

Finally, it’s crucial to make sure that your children learn about the importance of brushing their teeth. Explain to them how brushing protects their teeth. You can even try making up a story about nasty little sugar bugs that ruin teeth or the heroic toothbrush that saves the day. If you present the information to your kids in an interesting and fun way, it will more likely get the message across.

Here at All-In-One Dental Plan, we want to ensure that your family’s mouths get the care they deserve. Contact us at 1-800-310-2743 to learn more about how we can help protect your children’s teeth and keep them smiling for years to come!