Do your children brush their teeth without you having to remind them? It’s no surprise that most children don’t have teeth brushing at the top of their to-do list when they’d rather be watching Youtube videos, playing games, or showing down on sweets.
Children don’t realize the many problems that come with not brushing their teeth. Cavities, gum disease, and other oral health problems have become a big risk for them. Over 20% of the children between the ages of 5-11 have at least 1 cavity or serious tooth decay.
The best way for young children to avoid getting cavities and gum disease is to teach them good oral hygiene habits and get them into their daily routine.
How often do you tell your kids “go brush your teeth?” In this article, we have a few tricks to help you get your children into the habit of brushing.
Make It Fun
“Teeth Time,” should be a standout moment in your kids’ day. Younger children especially can get excited if you make brushing their teeth a fun activity with a cool name.
You can do this by making it a mini party. Spend 2 minutes with your kid dancing around, singing a song while you brush your teeth, and being goofy with your kid. You can even step it up with ritualistic a “teeth time” song and dance.
Another way to make brushing your kid’s teeth a more exciting time would be to get neon, bright strobe lights to spin around your bathroom during “teeth time.” The main point is that making the activity of brushing their teeth exciting will keep them looking forward to it in the morning and at night.
Get New Brushing Products
Kids aren’t the only ones to get excited about new things, everyone loves getting new stuff. Getting your kids a brand new toothbrush with their favorite TV, or game character on it might get them more excited to brush their teeth. Seeing their favorite characters on their toothbrush can make the activity cooler for them.
Another product that you can try giving your kids is a new toothpaste flavor. As a parent, we get to see what kind of foods and tastes our children like. Changing flavors can help your kids enjoy brushing their teeth and get them to do it even longer.
Make It A Routine
You and your children already have a set routine. They have a set time when they go to school and bed, while you have a set time to go to work, prepare food, and do some shopping. Designate a certain time of the morning and night for you to brush your teeth with your kids, and stick with it. Getting them into the habit of brushing at a set time will get them into brushing without even thinking about it – they won’t put it off! Getting them to brush their teeth within 30 minutes to an hour after eating breakfast or dinner will get rid of more plaque buildup, keeping their teeth clean and healthy.
When you are first setting a schedule, write down the time for them to brush their teeth so both you and your kids don’t forget. After a few weeks, brushing will become a part of your child’s daily routine that they won’t try to avoid. Combined with new toothbrushing products, and a flavored toothpaste, they can get super excited about “teeth time.”
Give Them A Reward
Like the rest of us, children can get motivated at the promise of a reward.
You know what kind of reward your kids want more than anyone, games, toys, TV time, etc. Use good oral hygiene and regular brushing as leverage for getting them something they want.
A reward that you typically want to stay away from when it comes to brushing their teeth is food. You don’t want to give them a snack right after brushing their teeth. An example of a reward you can give your kids would be a new toy from the dollar store or an extra 15 minutes of computer time. Older kids, 9-11, may want a later bedtime.
Promising your kids a reward will make your kids think that brushing their teeth is worth it. As your kids grow older they will naturally lose their dependency on a reward and will brush their teeth on their own. Rewards are a great start to reinforcing good habits.
Be A Stand Out Role Model
Kids and adults alike are guilty of putting their oral hygiene to the side.
If you want your kids to brush their teeth, floss, and mouthwash daily, you need to be a good role model for them to look up to. When your kids see you brushing your teeth, they will want to as well.
You should also schedule visits to your dentist at least twice a year to get rid of any plaque and tartar that might’ve built up. Getting your children used to the dentist young, will help them for the rest of their lives.
When you notice your kids are watching you brush your teeth, dance, make it look like a fun part of your day. Don’t be afraid to over exaggerate with big brushing motions and silly faces. Your kids will want to copy you, plus when you have pearly white teeth you can show off. Show off your teeth to your friends, family, and especially your children; give your kids something to look forward to from a lifetime of good oral hygiene.
Keep Your Kids Healthy
Exercise and a good diet can improve all the systems in your body. Your child’s mouth is the first place food enters their body, keeping it clean will indirectly benefit their other systems. By managing your child’s diet, making sure it has a balance of dairy, calcium, and carbohydrates, you can ensure that their teeth and rest of their bodies are healthy.
A healthy child is more likely to have regular toothbrushing in their daily routine.
“Brush your teeth,” a sentence said to every child hundreds of times a year. It doesn’t have to be a phrase that your kids will sigh or dread. With your help, it can be a fun and exciting time for your kids. By doing the things we mentioned in this article, your child will quickly get into the habit of brushing their teeth in no time!