As important as it is for your child to brush and floss daily, it is not always the easiest task to accomplish. Still as a parent, it is partially up to you to help your child maintain their oral health, even if it can be challenging. Luckily, there are a few tried and true strategies you can use to encourage your child to brush their teeth. Some of these strategies may work better than others for your child and sometimes you may need to switch things up to keep them working. In the end, it is important to be creative and adaptable when helping your child establish a tooth-brushing routine. Here are some of the best tried and true strategies to get your child to brush their teeth:
The younger you start your child on a brushing routine, the easier it will be to enforce this routine later on when they get more resistant. Not to mention, it is recommended to start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as their first tooth erupts. Starting a brushing routine as soon as your child’s first tooth erupts makes brushing an automatic activity that they are less likely to question when they get older.
Lead by Example
Another way to encourage your child to brush their teeth is to lead by example. Even if you are not planning on brushing your own teeth at that point, brushing your teeth with your child can encourage them to brush their own teeth. Additionally, they can also learn by watching your technique.
Make it a Routine
Children respond well to routines, so making brushing their teeth part of their daily routine is another way to make it easier to get them to brush their teeth. Setting up a specific daily routine that includes brushing their teeth makes it another activity that they complete without thinking about it. Establishing a routine works best by also starting your child early.
Let Them Pick Their Toothbrush
Allowing your child to pick their toothbrush helps them feel more in control of brushing their teeth and makes them more excited to participate in the activity. Nowadays, there are a variety of toothbrush options available for kids, including toothbrushes in bright colors and with fun cartoon characters. By letting your child pick a toothbrush they are excited about, it helps to make the activity of brushing their teeth more exciting.
Let Them Pick Their Toothpaste
Along with letting them pick their toothbrush, it is also helpful to let them pick their toothpaste as well. This is especially important if there are certain flavors of toothpaste that they prefer to others. In some cases, it may be good to buy a few different flavors so that your child can choose which flavor they find most appealing. However, when letting your child pick their own toothpaste, you will want to stress to them that they are not supposed to swallow the toothpaste.
Have Fun With It
Children enjoy doing things that are fun, so finding ways to make brushing their teeth is a great way to keep them excited about the activity. Some things that have worked for parents in the past are using a special video or song that is only played while teeth brushing or making it a game to see who can generate the most foam from brushing. If you don’t have any creative ideas, there are also plenty of apps available that are designed to make teeth brushing fun for kids.