Getting children to do anything even mildly uncomfortable or boring is often quite a challenge, and brushing their teeth is no exception. Whether you have a fussy kid on your hands who detests brushing their teeth, or just a child with bad technique and habits, the five tips below can help make tooth brushing both more effective and more enjoyable for any child!
- Choose a Less Aggressive Toothpaste
Toothpastes made for adults are often harsh tasting to children, and may greatly discourage them from brushing their teeth. Be sure to provide children with a toothpaste made especially for children. These often taste much better, and come in cooler designs and formats that can get kids excited about brushing.
- Use a Rewards System
Small rewards are stock and trade for children, especially ones who really dislike what you are trying to get them to do. A rewards system can greatly encourage children to maintain regular and thorough oral hygiene habits. Rewards can be anything, including stickers, small toys, or activities they love. By giving them a reward after each proper tooth brushing, you incentivize them to continue the habit, and make the whole process into a little game. It is probably best to stay away from sugary treat rewards, however, as it would defeat the purpose of brushing in the first place!
- Brush Your Teeth with Them
Brushing your teeth alongside your children has a two-fold benefit for their tooth brushing habits. For one, it demonstrates
proper technique, mature diligence to the routine, and allows you to “lead by example.” It also allows you to monitor your children’s tooth brushing for correct technique, and lets you bond with them over the experience, making it more enjoyable for both of you.
- Get Them Started Early
Like any habit, the earlier a child gets started, and the longer they do it for, the more likely they are to stick with it. The moment your child has teeth to brush, they can safely begin brushing them! It is also best to get started with routine dental checks as early as possible, to have a professional ensure that your child’s oral development is coming along without any unpleasant surprises.
- Make Brushing Fun
Children will do anything if they find it entertaining, so the simple solution to get them to brush better is to make the process more fun! The easiest way of doing this is to let them chose their own toothbrush and toothpaste. With an endless myriad of themed and styled toothbrushes on the market, your child should have no issue finding one that strikes their fancy. Fun an also be rolled into the rewards system and the concept of brushing together by making the chore into a competition with your child!