When just starting out, many children find brushing their teeth a fun, “big kid” adventure. And parents are happy they’re having fun improving their dental health. However, as they grow up and have more responsibilities, some begin to get tired of this seemingly thankless routine.
What’s a parent to do when brush time ends up with sad faces, angry sighs or tears?
Brushing their teeth is a necessary life skill every child needs to learn. And helping them get in the habit of brushing twice a day for two minutes is not always easy. However, if you’re willing to be a little creative, you can make brush time not only healthy, but fun as well.
Before you can be effective in helping your child form good dental health habits, you need to be sure you’re up on all the basics. If you need a quick reminder about proper brushing techniques, watch the video below to find out how to brush your child’s teeth.
Kids of all ages love a fun party. So instead of jumping right into brushing, why not have a two-minute dance party first? Crank up your child’s favorite party music and dance your way to the bathroom.
When it’s time to start brushing, the fun doesn’t have to end. Try using a fun video or brushing app to count down the two minute brushing time. Older kids might like the brushing videos on 2min2x.org, while younger kids might enjoy these videos.
Making brush time a special time of day, every day, will help children more quickly create this good habit. It may get tempting to skip a brush time while on vacation or after a very long day. Don’t give in. The more they practice this important oral health skill, the easier it will become to make it a consistent habit.
Kids love choices. It helps them feel valued and helps them invest in the process. There are many varieties of good dental products for kids. Let them choose the color of their toothbrush or the flavor of their toothpaste. It will help them get more excited about brush time.
Make brushing fun by brushing with your child.
Modeling good behavior is one of the best ways to teach. When possible, brush your teeth with your children. Show them what good brushing techniques look like and how much fun brushing can be. When they see it as a fun activity, and not just another chore, they’ll want to join in on the fun too.
Rewards are often the best motivators for children learning new skills. Sit down with them and talk about the goals for brushing. Then find out what will motivate them to reach those goals.
Do they like stickers? Then make a chart that rewards them one sticker for each time they brush for two minutes. Do they love to read? Let them pick out their favorite bedtime story once they’ve finished brushing. For some, a heart-felt compliment may be all they need to feel good about their accomplishment.
Overall, the key to good dental health for kids is making brush time a fun time they enjoy so they can make it a lasting habit. When kids develop good oral hygiene habits early, they are more likely to have a lifetime a great teeth and easy checkups.