It is very common for children not to want to brush their teeth and you are not alone if you have trouble getting your children to do so. Luckily, there are ways to make your children not only brush their teeth of their own accord but enjoy it too. We are excited to share with you our three favorite ways to get your children to love oral hygiene!
- Make it fun.
One of our personal favorite techniques is making a brushing playlist of songs your children love. You can even mix in some dental-themed songs. Whenever it is time for brushing, put this playlist on and join your children in their oral hygiene routine. You can also try taking your children shopping for a fun new toothbrush. Most stores carry toothbrushes both in vibrant colors and with beloved cartoon characters on them. Kids also tend to enjoy the excitement of using electric toothbrushes. There are so many fun and creative ways to get your children to view oral hygiene as both necessary and fun. Soon your kids will be asking when it is time to brush their teeth!
- Reward good brushing behavior to reinforce it for your children.
Even if a reward isn’t big, expensive, or complicated, it will have an effect on driving a child’s behavior. Rewards can be as simple as stickers or marks on a chart whenever your children take ownership of their oral hygiene routine without complaint. You could even let your children choose dinner one night of the week if they have been good about brushing their teeth the week prior. Rewards, no matter how small, will reinforce good oral hygiene habits in your children.
- Teach your children the importance of oral health early and model good oral hygiene yourself.
Toddlers and younger children tend to internalize the values parents instill in them, even if they don’t understand the importance of those values. Oral hygiene is no exception. If a child sees their parents consistently brushing and flossing, they will think they should be doing the same. You could even begin creating a specific oral hygiene time for your kids from a young age. When they become old enough to take care of their own brushing, a particular time will already be familiar to them. It is also essential to explain to children the reasons certain behaviors are positive. Tell them how a healthy smile will lead to a healthy, happy life. You can even throw something in about making the Tooth Fairy happy!
Every child should learn why oral hygiene is important. Making oral care fun, rewarding your children when they are doing well, educating them about why brushing is essential, and modeling good behavior are all ways to increase good brushing behavior and overall oral health. Let’s get those kids brushing!