Good dental hygiene is important for children, but sometimes, they’re resistant to brushing their teeth. They don’t like the flavor of the toothpaste, or they don’t want to take time away from playing to brush their teeth. Really, when a little one doesn’t want to do something, they’ll come up with any reason. They’re imaginative. Fortunately, as a parent, you have hope. Here are five ways you can get your children to brush their teeth.
Tell Them How Brushing Works
Children are curious creatures. For most young ones, explaining to them what they’re doing, what effect it has on their teeth, and why they should brush their teeth will get the job done. If they understand, they’re willing to participate.
Let Them Pick Out Their Toothbrush and Toothpaste
Often children resist as a form of gaining control. There’s little that kids have control over in their lives, as parents dictate bedtime, playtime, and mealtimes. If your child resists brushing their teeth even after explaining the process to them, try giving them control over what they’ll use.
Brush Your Teeth Together
Make brushing your teeth a communal activity. If your child is nervous about brushing their teeth, they’ll feel better when they see you do it. If they’re bored by the idea, making it an activity you do together means you can make a game out of it. It becomes something fun the two of you do together.
Set Up a Toothbrushing Routine
Just as you set up a bedtime routine to get your child to go to bed, making a toothbrushing routine can help motivate your child to take care of their teeth. Set a time every night where they go to the bathroom to brush their teeth. Establish a routine that includes flossing (if they’re old enough to floss), pre-brush rinses, and a gentle mouthwash after they brush their teeth.
Have Them Brush the Teeth of a Favorite Doll or Stuffed Animal
Another option to get your child to brush their own teeth is to encourage them to take care of someone they care about. You can buy a baby-size toothbrush or make one if you’re crafty for your child to use on their doll or stuffed animal. Repeat what toothbrushing does for their toy (and them) and praise them for taking such good care of their favorite toy. That kind of reinforcement will make them feel more comfortable about brushing their own teeth.
Family Dentistry in Bucks County
Are you looking for a dental clinic in Philadelphia or the surrounding area? Contact us for an appointment for you and your whole family. Good dental care is important, so help your children start good habits while they’re young. They’ll thank you for it when they’re older.
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