Is your child reluctant to brush his teeth? Has brushing time been known to be a challenge in your family? You’re not alone. Many children are too focused on having fun and don’t want to spend their time doing much needed tasks like taking care of their teeth. Your children’s dentist knows that convincing your child to clean their smile isn’t always the easiest task. Continue reading to learn a few ways that other parents have been able to motivate their children and keep their kids’ teeth clean.
Make Toothbrushing a Family Activity
Children are known to imitate their parents and older siblings. If they see you brushing as well, it will feel less like a chore or punishment and more like a necessary part of everyone’s morning or bedtime. Leading by example is powerful.
Let Your Kids Pick Out Their Toothbrush and Toothpaste
Toothbrushing can be made more fun if your kids have a say in the tools that they’re using. Toothbrushes are available in all sorts of different colors. Your child could choose one with their favorite Disney princess or superhero.
For a child, regular mint toothpaste does not sound appealing. Fortunately, there are all sorts of kid-friendly toothpaste flavors including bubblegum and strawberry. There’s bound to be at least one that they like. And the faster they use it up, the sooner they will be able to try a new flavor!
Brush Along to a Song
Everybody likes music! Try playing your child’s favorite song as they’re brushing their teeth. This is also a great way to ensure that they are brushing for a full 2 minutes before rinsing their mouth. This will make brushing more fun and go by faster.
Reward Your Kids
Sometimes, all your kids need is a little incentive to brush their teeth. You could try using a sticker chart or reward them with a prize after brushing their teeth successfully for an entire month. Having a new toy sounds much more exciting to a child than just having healthy teeth.
Turn Brushing into a Game
Who doesn’t love playing games? Childhood is about fun and creativity after all. For example, you could tell them they need to defeat the sugar monsters that live in their mouth. Or you could ask them to hum a song when they’re brushing, and you will guess what it is. When you’ve guessed it, switch. There are all sorts of creative games that you could use to make brushing more fun!
Watch a Short Video
Allow your child to watch a fun video as they’re brushing their teeth. It will keep them entertained while they are keeping their smile fresh and healthy!
Every child is unique in their own way. If you find it difficult to convince your child to clean his teeth, try some of the ideas listed above. You might just find one that works.
About the Author
Dr. Jennifer Miller is a family dentist located in St. Peter, MN. She earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery at the University of Minnesota and has gained nearly 20 years of experience. She also attends continuing education courses on a regular basis to stay current with advances in dentistry. Dr. Miller treats even the littlest of patients at her practice.