Tips To Get Kids To Brush Their Teeth
Parenting. Not always as glamorous as some mommies & daddies make it out to be, right? And one not so fun task on the unglamorous aspects of parenting list is figuring out how to get your child to brush their teeth. Flossing would be a super huge bonus, but you’ll probably settle for brushing right now, because you have other epic parenting battles to wage and also keep your sanity in the process, right? Let us help, with our pro tips to get kids to brush their teeth.
How To Encourage Kids To Brush Their Teeth
- Take them in for their first dental visit by 1 year to 18 months old maximum. Not only does this first visit allow you child to be screened for any dental abnormalities, but it also introduced them tot he concept of the tooth doctor, a.k.a., the dentist.
- When very young, have them brush the teeth of a beloved toy. It will help teach them and encourage them to brush their own. Once their baby teeth are in, you will want to brush them twice a day with water and a soft bristle brush. You can start using toothpaste around age 2, making sure to teach them not to swallow the toothpaste as it can be harmful.
- Play dentist with them and talk about the importance of strong, healthy teeth for talking, smiling, chewing and eating and keeping bad bacteria out of their mouth. Kids love playing with mom and dad and this is a great way to promote learning. You can also play doctor right after, so kids understand that dental care and dental visits are just as important to their health as doctor visits.
- Let them choose their own toothbrush. Having them pick it makes it more exciting to use at tooth brushing time.
- Make it a family activity. Kids love to copy mom and dad. Plus, when it’s something you do together, it’s an inclusive and fun activity, and it’s better than the alternative where kids are being told to go brush their teeth, and they take the opportunity to rebel and cause a scene.
- Pick a favourite song of theirs and make it the smile care song. Pick a song of about 3.5 – 4 minutes and teach them to brush and floss within that time. Not too fast or we won’t get all the sugar bugs out, and not too slow because the smile care song is almost over!
- Play the Animal Smiles game. First, the Smiling Monkey fame- teeth together, lips pulled back in a big smile, and we brush our front teeth. Then, the Smiling Hippo face, jaws wide open, and we brush our back teeth. Last, the Silly Snake Smile, tongue stuck out, we gently brush our tongues in a single direction, from back to front.
- Use reward charts. We’ve created some free printable tooth brushing charts for you in multiple colours. Every chart filled out can earn them a reward. Perhaps there is no candy allowed until one chart is complete, and then it’s dessert day! Or perhaps they get a small bonus allowance with each completed chart. The possibilities are endless.
Bonus Tips For Teenagers:
For teenagers with lazy oral hygiene habits, try a little fear. Show them pictures of unhealthy teeth on the internet, (or even our own before and after page here) and tell them it doesn’t take much to ruin a smile. Remind them that not brushing and flossing daily leads to bad breath that all their friends will notice. If you allow your teen to date, remind them no one wants to kiss the guy/girl with the bad breath.