22 May Motivating Your Child to Brush Their Teeth
Motivating kids to brush their teeth is not always a simple task. Learning how to maintain proper oral hygiene takes time and to be honest is not always inherently fun for children. It is critical however, for kids from a young age, to learn to, practice, and understand the importance of brushing their teeth properly and often. In fact, the daily routine of brushing one’s teeth is essential to overall health in general and must be instilled in children at a young age, even if this is difficult to achieve. If your child is having a difficult time learning or remembering to practice good oral hygiene skills, the following tips may help you teach him or her to take care of their teeth.
Tips For Motivating Kids To Brush Their Teeth:
Begin Early: Toddlers who are accustomed to having their teeth cleaned tend to be more responsive to learning how to brush their teeth themselves. Parents should clean their child’s mouth from infancy, beginning with wiping your baby’s gums with a clean damp cloth or gauze pad after feedings.
Brush Your Teeth Together: Make teeth brushing a family activity. Young children love to imitate their parents, and an effective way to encourage children to practise oral hygiene is to make the activity of teeth brushing an entire family matter. Model how to practise good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing in front of your child, and then let them try themselves. Essentially, the same thing that compels small kids to dress up like their parents and pretend to do whatever their parents do, will prompt them to emulate modelled oral hygiene as well. Completing this routine together also gives the parent the ability to make sure the child is brushing properly.
Let Your Child Pick A Toothbrush: Allowing a child to pick his or her own toothbrush helps make the process of learning how to take care of their teeth fun! There are all sorts of different themed toothbrushes to help motivate a child to practise brushing. When kids are excited about a toothbrush because it is modelled after their favourite Disney princess or cartoon character for example, they are more likely to become excited about brushing and want to practise more often.
Choose Child Friendly Toothpaste: A multitude of kid friendly toothpastes exist in a large assortment of colours and flavours. These fun and child tailored flavours tend to make brushing a more enjoyable task. Rather than forcing a child to brush with mint adult flavours, which may be too harsh on a child’s palate, these flavours help kids look forward to completing the routine of brushing their teeth. Bringing your child with you when shopping for their toothpaste and give them a choice in the colour and flavour they find most appealing. Ultimately, a child who likes the flavour of his or her toothpaste is more inclined to become excited about brushing.
- Colgate kids toothpaste and toothbrushes options
- Oral B kids toothpaste and toothbrushes options
- Macleans kids toothpaste and toothbrushes options
Utilise Educational Tools: Often times, kids tend to pay closer attention to messages from sources other than their parents. Educational tools can be key in the actual implementation of healthy habits. When kids read books about brushing their teeth, watch videos, or play “mobile app” or tablet games having to do with the subject for example, oral hygiene tasks may become more important to children and more ingrained as significant skills to obtain.
Use Music: Music can aid in passing the time it takes to complete oral hygiene tasks. Playing a child’s favorite song while they brush their teeth can help them learn how long to brush and make the routine more fun. Kids and adults should brush their teeth for about two minutes every time. Help kids pick one or multiple fun songs to play while brushing and flossing to help make the possibly ‘boring’ routine more exciting.
Create Motivational Rewards Charts: Encourage children to keep track of their daily brushing by setting up a motivational rewards chart for completing their oral hygiene tasks. There are many creative ways of doing this, so choose what works best for your family. Ultimately, keeping track of their brushing and flossing on a chart helps kids learn consistency with their habits.
Our oral health therapist Tara will always work with you to find the best suitable and manageable techniques at home for you and your child.