Parents know the struggle well: one of the least favorite parts of the bedtime routine is when it’s time for brushing teeth. Many kids hate doing it and have to be told many times over before they begrudgingly give in. But there are a few ways to encourage your children to brush their teeth, and to do it willingly!
Give Them a Choice
No, not a choice to brush their teeth or not. Give you child a choice in their toothbrush and toothpaste. This brings them into the process and helps them feel more responsible and grown-up. Your child may feel more motivated to brush if their toothbrush has their favorite cartoon character on it or if their toothpaste is a flavor they love.
Make It a Game
There are tons of brushing apps out there to help encourage children to brush. Brush DJ plays two minutes of music from your phone to let kids know how long they should keep brushing. Toothsavers makes a game of brushing teeth by giving kids the mission of saving the kingdom from an evil witch. Two minutes of brushing scrubs away the witch’s spell from the game’s characters.
“Look at those pearly whites!” A compliment about your child’s smile can go a long way in encouraging them to continue a good brushing routine.
Brush with Them
Children look up to their parents, so if they see you brushing, they may want to do it, too! When bedtime rolls around, take your toothbrush to your child’s bathroom and brush alongside your kiddo. They’ll want to make sure they’re doing just as good a job as you are.
Show & Tell
Plaque-discoloring tablets show your child where they may not be brushing as well as they should. The tablets stain teeth red where plaque has built up. Have your child do a thorough brushing to remove as much of the red as possible. When they’re done, their smile will tell them, and you, if they’ve done a good job.
Many kids will find these tips motivating enough to get them to keep their smiles clean and healthy. If you’re still having trouble getting your child to brush, though, call our office for more tips and to schedule a children’s dental visit. We’ll talk more with you and your child about the importance of a healthy smile.