How to Get Reluctant Children to Brush Regularly
It’s hard to explain the aversion some children have to brushing their teeth. After all, if you went the whole day without brushing, it would drive you nuts. You’d run your tongue over your teeth and shake your head in disgust. You may even be the type that carries floss with you and cleans your teeth after each meal. So, if you are so concerned with oral hygiene, how is it that your children seem to hate it?
Alright, I’m not even going to try and answer that question. I can’t always figure kids out, and I’ve got a few. But with the things I do know about kids – and being a dentist to several young patients, here are a few things that might help:
• Just give them the fun toothbrush and yummy flavored toothpaste. It may cost you a few extra dollars, but if a princess toothbrush is going to get your child brushing…buy it. It might save you hundreds of dollars later in dental work.
• Give them an egg-timer. Make brushing their teeth a fun challenge. Have children see if they can brush for a solid two minutes before giving up. Sure, to them two minutes may seem way too long to be brushing their teeth and they may get bored. But that boredom will disappear when they realize that they did it – they got through two minutes of brushing.
• Reward them for brushing on their own. How often do you hear yourself saying, “Go brush your teeth and get ready for bed?” How about every night? At least, in my house we do. But what if you were to reward your child for remembering to brush and doing it on their own? Guess what they’ll want to do the next evening? You guessed it…brush their teeth.
• Make it a family event. The best way to teach children is through example. What would happen if you chose to brush your teeth at the same time your children do? They will learn how important clean teeth are to you. Plus, as an added bonus, if you brush your teeth earlier at night, you won’t be as tempted to indulge in late night snacking.
• Explain why it’s important. Children are often eager to obey their parents. But sometimes they have to be obstinate and learn things on their own. Instead of saying, “Because I said so,” why not try explaining how important healthy teeth and gums are?
• Get your kids to the dentist. You need help reinforcing good brushing and flossing. Plus, it gives your children a goal to work toward – no cavities when you visit the dentist next month.
Children have a mind of their own (no matter how hard we try). Work with them, try a few of these ideas, and you’ll see your children adopting good oral hygiene behaviors.
Now, when you are ready to take your child to the dentist, remember Roberts Dentistry is taking new patients so contact us for an appointment today!