Like nearly anything else that feels like a chore or a routine, it can be a challenge to get your kids in the habit of brushing their teeth, both regularly and thoroughly. Teaching your children the benefits of dental hygiene early will be a great benefit to them as adults. Encouraging them on a daily basis may seem daunting and sometimes not worth fighting for, but is worth the due diligence.
With our team’s combined decades of experience, we have worked with plenty of parents struggling to help teach their kids a healthy dental care routine. Here are some of our favorite tips and tricks to help you and your kids along the way.
In general, children tend to love doing things they see their parents doing. Making their teeth cleaning routine similar to yours will feel natural and take advantage of their desire to be like you. Kids often want to help parents with their routine, so if they ask to brush your teeth you have an easy way to make a game of brushing each other's teeth.
Have your kids pick out a toothbrush that they will want to use - it’s easy to find brushes that are brightly colored or designed like cartoon characters, animals, and other favorite toys. Finding an age-appropriate toothpaste will also help. Many toothpastes designed for kids are naturally sweetened or lightly flavored, making brushing a more pleasant experience for them.
Don’t be afraid to try different ways to bring some fun to the brushing routine. Challenge your child to a game over who can do a better job brushing, use the time to listen to a favorite song of theirs, or have them practice skills such as counting while they watch you brush. If you or your partner are feeling extra creative, you can create a unique story to tell their kids about why brushing well is important.
Establishing a reward or incentive system is a great way to encourage your kids to develop good habits over time. The rewards don’t have to be anything drastic; we often recommend things as easy as giving them 10 more minutes of playing before bedtime as enough of a reward for good brushing all day. If you are trying to help them create other healthy habits you can build in a reward for two weeks or a month of sticking to a plan.
Our professional staff has plenty of experience helping talk with parents and kids about the importance of a healthy mouth. We take pride in our work and want to help your kids feel proud of their bright, clean smiles. If you want to talk more about how to encourage and train healthy oral habits, contact us today!