Is your child reluctant to brush their teeth? Or does your child often forget to brush their teeth? Flossing and brushing are two of the most essential things your child can do to protect their teeth, and if they need a bit of extra encouragement, you may want to check out these tips and ideas.
1. Use Technology
You can find apps and other technology that can help to encourage your child to brush their teeth. Many apps come with a timer to help your child keep brushing for the optimal amount of time.
Others feature fun characters that cheer your child to have better dental care, some let your child brush animal teeth virtually, and still others give your child points for brushing, which they can trade in for virtual toys and accessories for a virtual character.
2. Speak Your Child’s Love Language
The five love languages are words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. Often, these languages are used to help couples strengthen their marriages, but they can be useful in a variety of situations, including encouraging your child to brush. Pay attention to how your child responds to the five languages listed above, and once you narrow in on their unique love language, use that when trying to get them to brush more.
For instance, if your child responds to gifts, travel-size toothpaste in fun flavors or new brushes on a regular basis can help increase their passion for brushing. If they respond to words of affirmation, you may want to offer lots of compliments for brushing and flossing. You may have to experiment to see what appeals to your child.
3. Make Brushing a Family Affair
Young kids look up to their parents, and even older children crave family time. Consider setting a positive example by turning brushing into a family affair. Gather everyone in the bathroom or huddle around the kitchen sink and then show your kids how it’s done.
4. Work Brushing Into Your Routine
Routines can help to alleviate stress and make positive habits part of your daily schedule. Look for existing routines you have with your child, and try to anchor brushing and flossing to those routines. For instance, if you read to your kids every night, have them brush and floss after storytime. Similarly, if your child watches cartoons and eats breakfast every morning, you should find a way to tie dental maintenance to those activities.
5. Implement Rewards
Some families find rewards useful. You can get sticker charts online or in most teacher supply shops. Then, you simply put on a sticker for every time your child brushes, and you give them a reward when they reach a certain amount of stickers. Rewards can include choosing what’s for dinner, going to the movies, getting extra screen time, buying a toy, or whatever works for your family.
6. Educate Your Child About Dental Health
Kids can understand a lot, and you should let them know why brushing is important. For instance, tell them that leftover food on their teeth builds up and turns into plaque. Then, the plaque can start to dissolve the enamel and lead to cavities.
7. Start Young
To set strong habits, you need to start young. Ideally, you should get your child used to brush even before they have teeth. Just use a bit of gauze and some infant toothpaste to clean their mouth. Then, as they get older, continue brushing for them until they are ready to tackle the job on their own. Even with older kids, you may want to brush for them occasionally to ensure they get a thorough clean.
To set up an appointment or to learn more, contact us today. We look forward to being a partner in your dental health.