The brushing battle often starts at a young age. You know it’s important that your child takes care of his or her teeth, but they couldn’t care less about oral hygiene — and would rather pout than rinse and spit. To help tackle this issue, we’ve come up with 3 fun ways to make brushing teeth more fun for your kids. Sure, they may be a bit goofy, but we bet you’ll have a much more enjoyable time (and fewer headaches!) using these ideas, too.
1. Get Choosy
Children like to have ownership over the things they do, so put a lot of excitement and emphasis on allowing them to choose their own toothbrush and toothpaste. Tell them a few days in advance that you’ll be going shopping together soon, and they’ll be able to pick out any toothbrush and toothpaste they want. You can also point out times when they’ll get to use these products (such as after breakfast or before bed), and that this is a special big-kid privilege they can finally have.
When you’re at the store, give your child plenty of time to pick out the items they want, and offer encouragement like “I bet you’ll have a lot of fun using this toothbrush!” By staying positive, allowing your child choice, and making brushing their teeth sound exciting, your child will be a lot more willing to take a minute each night to clean his or her teeth.
2. Story Time!
Children respond well to stories, especially when you personalize the narrative. Try weaving a tale about a prince or princess who has to fight a dragon with a magic sword (the mighty toothbrush!), but the dragon is nowhere to be seen. Oh, wait a minute — you think he’s hiding behind the prince or princess’s teeth! Have your child open wide while you scout for the dragon. Say — “I think I see him over here!” and gently tap on the upper right side of your child’s cheek. Your child will then brush that side. But (oh no!), the dragon has escaped! Direct your child to “attack” the other side of his or her mouth, until all spots are cleaned and the dragon is “slain”.
3. Freeze Dance!
Another way to make brushing fun is to play freeze dance. Have your child pick out a song they love and play it while they brush their teeth, encouraging them to wiggle around and dance while they do so. But, when you pause the music, they have to freeze and stand still until the song starts again — if they move, they’ll get a tickle! Your child will have a blast, and brushing won’t feel like a chore at all. In fact, they might want to keep playing long after the brushing is done!
As parents, you know it’s important for your child to start taking care of his or her teeth from a young age. But, it can be difficult and frustrating for them to do so since their motor skills aren’t fully developed and brushing can feel awkward and strange. By personalizing the process and making it feel fun and exciting, your child will learn to enjoy brushing each night, and over time their technique will get better. Do you have a great brushing tip? Let us know in the comments!