In between all the madness that comes with raising a child to be independent, one of the major habits that is easily overlooked (and hard to teach) is making sure kids care about their teeth. Teaching dental hygiene to someone who would happily eat candy and drink soda until they burst can be difficult, and not every child is going to enjoy having a toothbrush in their mouth. With these simple tips, however, you can make brushing their teeth something your child looks forward to every morning and night.
1) Lead by Example: Children imitate those they look up to, so make sure to brush your teeth with your child and keep your toothbrushes in the same bathroom. This way you can show your child how to brush, without having your hands in their mouth. Making this a part of your daily routine will encourage your child to be just like mommy or daddy and gives you an opportunity to remind them how important clean teeth are — for both of you!
2) Make it Fun! Never underestimate the power of a game or song. Kids can make a game out of anything, so why not brushing your teeth? Come up with a silly song or dance to do while brushing, or make it a game where they get rewarded (not with candy!) for doing an excellent job cleaning their teeth.
3) Make Sure They Like Their Brush: Sometimes, it’s as simple as getting a brush with their favorite character on it. You can relate brushing their teeth to something they adore (“Time to brush our teeth with Winnie the Pooh!”) and they’ll be excited to get out their favorite toothbrush.
4) Find Enjoyable Toothpaste: For kids, it’s all about taste. You may enjoy the strong mint of your toothpaste, but just like you enjoy broccoli and your kids would rather feed it to the dog, they may not think it’s so great. Mint can be overpowering for kids, but there’s plenty of sweeter, more enjoyable flavors out there for them. Take them to the store with you and have them pick out what flavor they want to use.
5) Always Double-Check: With all these tips, your child may now be looking forward to brushing their teeth, and feel confident on their own. But, it’s always up to you to make sure they’re getting the tough spots. Let them know they’ve done a good job, and be sure to do a once-over with their brush to make sure they’ve gotten hard-to-reach places. Consider using a plaque-disclosing mouth rinse, which will show kids where they’ve missed plaque on their teeth, and they can brush those spots again.
Visit Greenspoint Dental today if your child needs a dental checkup or a teeth cleaning. Routine teeth cleanings are recommended every six months for adults and children. Contact us today to make your appointment.