Having Trouble Getting Your Kids to Brush Daily? Check Out These Tips
It’s your job as a parent to encourage your children to have healthy, good habits. One of these habits is proper oral health care. Most kids have both a morning and nighttime routine and in a perfect world that routine would include brushing their teeth. However, it’s not always that simple to get kids on board. Here are some tips we’ve come up with to help you encourage your kids to brush their teeth. If you have additional questions, reach out to California Dental Group at (800) 407-0161.
Make it a family routine
We know it’s not always possible for the whole family to brush together, but if you can do so sometimes, it’s a good way to encourage them to start a healthy brushing routine. Kids can learn by your example, so if you’re brushing along with them, they’ll be more likely to start brushing on their own. This also allows you to watch and make sure they’re brushing their teeth correctly. Be sure they’re not brushing too hard and make sure they’re brushing for long enough. Pick a song that’s two to three minutes long and put it on while you brush together.
Create a rewards system for tooth brushing
One of the easiest ways to teach a child is to offer a reward for good behavior. If you already have a reward system they follow, then simply add brushing and flossing to it. Just make sure you’re using the right reward. It may seem like a sweet treat is a great reward, but it can actually work against you. If they believe that sweets are a reward, it can increase how much they crave sweets. Remember that high-sugar treats can increase their chances of needing fillings.
We recommend rewards that aren’t food based. One option is to have a piggy bank on the counter in the bathroom. Whenever your child brushes and flosses they can drop a marble into the bank. After an agreed upon time, you can open up the bank together and swap the marbles for pennies or dimes.
Explain to them why brushing is so important
Some kids like the facts. They want you to sit down, explain why they should brush, and explain why they should floss. When you do so, and when they better understand both the reason for doing so and the instructions for doing so, they may be more likely to do it on their own.
This doesn’t mean you have to share them by telling them stories of root canals or painful dental emergencies. You can simply explain cavities, what they are, and why they want to avoid them. Explaining to a child that it only takes a few minutes out of their day but can make their adult teeth healthier – and cheaper to take care of – may be all they need. If you need additional help, feel free to contact California Dental Group at (800) 407-0161.