Does Your Child Refuse to Brush Their Teeth? Try These Three Techniques
Every parent knows that when it comes to their child refusing to do something, they have to pick their battles. At California Dental Group we would like to encourage you to make sure that you are prioritizing teeth brushing. Making sure that they brush at an early age significantly increases the chances that they will continue to do so as adults. The good news is that there are actually some simple techniques that are often successful in getting even reluctant brushers to brush away.
Making Brushing a Family Affair
What isn’t better with friends? When you and your child brush together, it gives them not only something to look up to, but someone to enjoy the experience with. If you can get the whole family together, even better. Try to find ways to make it as fun as possible. For example, do they have a favorite dance song? Put it on and make up a family brushing dance to go along with it. Just think about the things your child looks forward to, and then try to find ways to incorporate that into brushing.
Give Them Gold Stars or Stickers
Reward systems can be very helpful in getting children to do all sorts of things – including brushing and flossing their teeth. If you give them a gold star each time they brush, they might actually start asking you to brush their teeth! You can create a reward system in which they amass gold stars (or other types of stickers) and can turn those in for prizes.
We recommend not making the prize be a sugary food, as this reinforces ideas about sugary foods that can end up leading to cavities and an increased chance of developing gum disease as they get older. Fun treats can include watching a movie of their choice, getting a toy they are looking forward to, or extra screen time.
Tell Your Child About the Cavity Monster
You do not want your children to be afraid of their teeth, but you can introduce them to the cavity monster. Tell them that if they do not brush their teeth, the cavity monster can slow eat away at their teeth. The good news is that it is very easy to get rid of cavity monsters: brushing scrubs them right away! This not only encourages them to brush but gives them a sense of pride in taking care of themselves.
We Can Show Your Child How to Brush
If your child still refuses to brush, try bringing them in for a cleaning and exam. We can show them how to brush. Sometimes, when it comes from a person in a doctor’s coat, they will be more likely to follow our advice. Call California Dental Group at (800) 407-0161 to make an appointment.