Parents spend a lot of time trying to convince their small children to do things they don’t want to do. Brushing teeth doesn’t have to be one of those things. Family dentistry highlights how important it is to teach a child to brush their teeth properly as it sets them up for a lifetime of good dental hygiene, helps them avoid common dental issues and gives them a smile they feel proud of.
Kids enjoying brushing their teeth – does that sound impossible? Read on for our top 5 tips to make brushing a highlight of their day.
1. Fun For 4!
The goal of brushing for two minutes in the morning and two minutes at night when your toddler can hardly sit still for twenty seconds can seem daunting. But with some clever tricks up your sleeve, you can dissolve resistance and crank up the fun.
Have a collection of quick stories lined up that you only read while brushing teeth. Put on your most entertaining voices and watch the time fly. As you turn a page, they can move to a new section of their mouth.
To change it up in between stories, use one of the many tooth-brushing apps that are available.
2. Silly Tooth-Brushing Songs
Singing to your child is a great way to make tooth-brushing time go fast. Make up your own tooth-brushing songs, or find some on the internet. Any song that is funny or quirky will take their minds off what they’re doing and keep them giggling their way through the process. You can even let your child help you make up a song to sing.
3. The Power Of Choice
Let your child pick out their toothbrush and toothpaste in the shop. Having too many to choose between can overwhelm them. This is where the illusion of choice comes in as a great trick to use when they’re still small. Pick out two toothbrushes that are suitable for their age and stage and allow them to choose between the two.
4. Monkey See, Monkey Do
Just as the old saying suggests, your child will learn from watching you. If you make teeth brushing a family affair, something you all do together, they will quickly form the routine and know that this is something that happens twice a day.
You can expand this to reading books together about characters brushing their teeth or watching their favorite cartoon characters go through the motions.
5. Rewarding Good Dental Habits
Rewards work for tooth-brushing habits. Does a star or sticker chart work for your child? Now is a great time to make a tooth-brushing progress chart and stick it up on the back of the bathroom door.
Another option is to have a tooth-brushing jar that your child deposits tokens into each time they brush their teeth. Mark levels up the side of the jar and plan something special for each stage they reach.
You can keep it simple and let them choose the bedtime story as a reward or an extra trip to the park or the beach.
Remember Your Child’s Uniqueness
With all of these suggestions, remember that your child is a unique little person and what works for one, may switch another off entirely. Some children will love the concept of beating the tooth-eating baddies, but for others, this concept may be scary. Some will be excited to go to the dentist for the first time, others may experience dental anxiety. Trust your instincts and try things that suit your child’s personality.
Family Dentistry – Caring for Teeth the Easy Way
As you go about creating good dental habits in your child, avoid making it a battle of wills, and find what works with gentle persistence. When one method stops working, as it probably will, switch to the next.
If you’re looking for a dentist to help you look after your child’s teeth, Eriks Dental Group and our friendly staff offer a complete family dentistry service that will keep you and your child smiling. Contact Eriks Dental Group for an appointment in Boynton Beach and surrounding areas.