4 Ways to Motivate Children to Brush Their Teeth
May 30, 2020
Healthy oral habits should start at a young age; however, that’s easier said than done. When it comes to getting your child to brush his or her teeth, it can seem nearly impossible. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of 4 tips to help make brushing time a little easier.
1. Start Brushing Early
Even though children will lose their baby teeth, if they decay, that can lead to problems for their teeth in the future. Having children start caring for their teeth at a young age will make it easier for them to keep up that habit in the future. Here are tips for all stages of development:
- Infants: Use a damp cloth to wipe their gums each night. This helps remove bacteria and keeps their gums clean as teeth come in
- Six months: As your child’s first teeth arrive, transition to a toothbrush and encourage them to use it morning and night
- First birthday: If they haven’t been to the dentist yet, you should schedule an appointment by their first birthday, regardless of how many teeth they have
- Toddlers – three years: When the upper and lower teeth begin touching, begin encouraging them to floss daily
- Ongoing care: Children should brush their teeth twice daily for two minutes and see the dentist every six months
2. Make it fun
Children need to brush their teeth for two minutes twice a day to reap the full benefits. For a child, two minutes can seem like forever. Have them look forward to brushing time by letting them pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste. Having their favorite character on their toothbrush will make it easier to get them started.
During brushing time, put on a fun song, video or story that lasts two minutes. This way, to your children it seems like brushing their teeth is a dance party and it will fly by! Some awesome family-friendly toothbrushing songs can be found here.
3. Lead by Example
Children learn by watching, and they often imitate what they see their parents do. If they see you taking care of your teeth, chances are they will follow your lead. Allow your children to observe your brushing and flossing routine. Make it seem fun and explain each step of the way to them.
Once they see how much you enjoy it, try to set up a routine and stick to it, even on the busy days. The more you build a routine the easier it will be to motivate them to brush their teeth.
4. Give Praise
A little bit of positive reinforcement can go a long way! Telling your children that they are doing an awesome job and showing them that their effort doesn’t go unnoticed will encourage them to continue their brushing routine. This will also boost their confidence in their bushing technique.
Showing your children at a young age that taking care of their teeth can be fun will help it become a life-long habit. Be proactive in taking care of your children’s teeth and be sure to schedule an appointment every six months. If it’s time for your children’s next dentist appointment, schedule one at Beall Dental Center!