How to Help Your Kids Enjoy Brushing their Teeth

It’s that dreaded time of the day for you and your child: tooth brushing time.

You gently convince (and by that I mean nag) them to brush their teeth, then suddenly, all hell breaks loose! You get the same response every time: thrashing, screaming, twisting away, and a closed-shut jaw that clearly says, “No way!”

Should tooth brushing time always be this violent?

Children do not like brushing their teeth because they think it’s time-consuming and boring. It forces them to stand still (which means less time for play), shove something in their mouth and taste something weird. Besides, children don’t care about oral hygiene. However, you should.

Dental health is a vital element of a child’s overall health. And although encouraging your children to brush their teeth is not always easy, it is very important. In fact, as your child eats more food (especially sweets) that might get stuck in between their teeth, regular brushing becomes increasingly necessary.

Different children may have different likes and may respond to different methods, so you must be creative. Here are some tips you can consider on making brushing time enjoyable for your little one.

Be a model

It is known that children, toddlers most especially, like to imitate their parents. They love copying almost everything their parents do. Use this to your advantage and set an example. Sit on the bathroom floor with your toddler and allow him to see what you are doing. Show him how much fun you are having. When he sees you enjoying brushing your teeth, he might want to join. Without knowing, you have helped them start a beautiful habit.

Get your child a special toothbrush

Several parents testify that electronic toothbrushes provide very positive results. Children enjoy the way the brush feels on their teeth and finds the vibrations fun. You can buy your kid a toothbrush featuring his favourite cartoon character or his favourite toy. You can also buy a toothbrush identical to yours, only smaller. Better yet, allow your child to pick his own toothbrush!

Find the right toothpaste

The taste is one of the biggest things to consider when choosing your kids’ toothpaste. Strong minty flavours do not appeal to children; fruity and bubblegum flavours do. Children who love their toothpaste flavour are more likely to brush longer! It is also best to check what the toothpaste is made of. Does it contain natural products? How much percent of alcohol does it have? Some toothpastes can sting your child’s mouth because of strong chemicals.

Use the power or music

Sing a nursery rhyme or a special song when brushing teeth. You can make it a silly song about dental hygiene. This ritual may sound more fun and exciting for your child. You may also brush to the rhythm of the music to make the endeavour more interesting. The length of one song is also the ideal amount of time to effectively clean your teeth.

Recognise and acknowledge your child’s progress

Motivation will go a long way. You can set up an oral hygiene chart where your child can keep track of his daily brushing and his earned rewards. Congratulating them when they finish brushing is also very encouraging.

 

There are many more things you can do to make your kids enjoy brushing. Can you think of anything else?

 

Vanessa Pruitt, PLMHP, MS

2 thoughts on “How to Help Your Kids Enjoy Brushing their Teeth

  1. Besides being creative about getting your kids to brush their teeth, it’s vitally important to make sure the ingredients are safe and healthy – most are not, even natural brands. No matter what brand you choose, you need to first read the list of ingredients in the tiny print on the back of the package and make sure they are safe. If you don’t know what some of the ingredients are, it’s important to find a resource to help you interpret the ingredients for safety. In addition, fluoride in toothpaste is not healthy. Toothpastes containing fluoride have a poison warning on the back of the label – for good reason. When you become an informed label reader, you and your kids will be healthier for it!

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