As your young children begin to become more independent, you may be wondering how to teach them how to properly care for their teeth. Here, we’ll suggest some simple tips and tricks on how to encourage your child to brush their teeth every day from an early age.
- Set a Good Example
- Keep a Routine
- Make Brushing Fun
- Include Their Favorite Characters
- Use Positive Reinforcement
A great way to ensure that your kids will learn how to brush their teeth is by setting a good example. The more often they see you brushing your teeth, the more likely they will want to imitate you. As their role model, gently brush your own teeth in front of them with good technique and explain to them that brushing is a part of your everyday routine. If you have multiple children, consider encouraging the whole family to brush together so you’re all helping keep each other accountable.
Additionally, be sure to establish a tooth brushing routine for your child. Brush their teeth (or have them brush their own teeth if they are old enough) at the same time in the morning before breakfast and at night before bedtime. By establishing a routine, your kids will come to expect tooth brushing time and will eventually head automatically into the bathroom to start brushing.
Who says tooth brushing needs to be a dull chore? Spice up brushing time with something fun. There are a number of videos online that have characters singing songs for two minutes–the recommended length of time by the American Dental Association (ADA). Or as your child brushes, play their favorite song so they can boogie to the beat, tell them an adventure story of your own creation, or read aloud from their favorite book.
From Sesame Street to Disney and beyond, toothbrush manufacturers now make toothbrushes with your child’s favorite characters on them. Take your child toothbrush shopping so that they can pick out their own toothbrush. Not only will they be more excited to brush with their favorite characters, but allowing them to pick out their own toothbrush will give them a sense of ownership and independence. If your child struggles using a manual toothbrush correctly, invest in an electric toothbrush made for kids. Many of them even light up!
Lastly, reward your child for good oral health habits. While we don’t recommend you bribe your child with candy or sweets, there are a number of other things that can be utilized. From a sticker chart to extra reading time to extra cuddling to a special family outing, positive reinforcement can go a long way in encouraging your child to keep brushing their teeth every day.
If you have more questions about teaching your child to brush their teeth every day, or would like to schedule your child’s next dental cleaning and checkup here at Bluedot Dental, contact us today!