Getting kids to brush their teeth isn’t the easiest task in the world. Often times, they begrudgingly oblige in order to appease you, the parents, but this isn’t the best way to develop healthy habits. If a child is interested in brushing his or her teeth, he or she will likely do a more thorough job, miss less brushings, and generally enjoy the experience of teeth cleaning much more than if he or she is forced to carry out the activity.
Here are 5 Ways To Get Kids Interested in Brushing:
1. Brush YOUR Teeth. That’s right – one of the most effective ways to get children to brush THEIR teeth is by brushing YOUR teeth. Children learn by example and are eager to mimic their parent’s behaviors. By consistently brushing your teeth as part of a morning and evening routine, children learn that this activity is necessary, important and can even be fun. Make it a point to invite your child to brush his or her teeth at the same time that you are brushing your teeth to make it a fun family activity.
2. Offer Up Choices. Give your child some say in the matter by offering up some choices for him or her to choose from. By empowering the child to choose his or her own flavor or toothpaste and a favorite toothbrush, you are making the activity more personal and fun for the child.
3. Give Rewards. For children that are particularly difficult to develop healthy brushing habits, try a reward system in which each time the child brushes his or her teeth, a sticker is added to a chart. After a certain amount of successful brushings (maybe 10), the child receives a small reward. Once the habit is developed, you can slowly wean the child off of the reward system or lengthen the amount of time between rewards.
4. Read Tooth Books and Listen to Tooth Songs. Tap into the resources available for parents! There are plenty of books and songs out there that encourage kids to brush their teeth and make the experience fun and interactive. Find books and songs that your children like and incorporate them into reading time or play time.
5. Provide Distraction. It’s important for children to brush their teeth for more than just a few seconds, but this can be tough for a young child. In order to keep your child focused on the task at hand, provide some distraction like a short video to watch while brushing (bonus points if it is a video about brushing!) or a song to listen to. You could also count to 20 while your child is brushing so that they know they need to keep brushing until you reach 1.
Have more questions about how to get your child interested in brushing his or her teeth? Contact the professionals at DentaLux today!