6 Ways to Get Your Kids to BrushMarch 25, 2014
Parents of small children definitely get the same old tantrums and tears when it’s time for them to brush their teeth. It may seem almost impossible to get them to cooperate, with all the thrashing, screaming, and crying getting in the way of helping your kids maintain proper dental hygiene habits. There is no easy road to success here. Children just don’t have the capability to understand this importance yet and it is totally normal. Still, here are a few ways you can help incite your kids to brush their teeth.
Consider skipping on the toothpaste:
Many children don’t like to brush because the toothpaste they use has a weird texture, makes them gag, or simply tastes “funny”. At a young age, it is completely fine to have them brush with just water. This is one way to see if your kids are open to the idea of brushing and eventually you can try and reintroduce them to toothpaste in the future. The other option is to buy toothpaste that is specifically designed for kids, such as ones that are okay to swallow in small amounts, just in case.
Become a dinosaur:
You read it right. A great way to get your kids to brush their teeth is making the experience a fun and exciting game for them. Encourage them to say “grrrrr” to show the front teeth, and “ahhhhh” to show the back. Having your child roar like a large extinct reptile not only puts them at ease but also helps them open their mouth wide while brushing to get every nook and cranny.
Children have an innate desire to mimic everything they see, so why not show them something that they should follow: like maybe you brushing your own teeth. This is a slightly more sneaky approach. While you’re brushing in front of your child, make sure their toothbrush is just within reach. Adding faces and sounds of excitement while brushing definitely wouldn’t hurt and it will make it more likely that your child will pick up their toothbrush and follow in the fun.
Make the toothbrush fun:
You can do this in a multitude of ways. The most common way is to allow your child to brush the “teeth” of his or her stuffed animals, toys, or any of the sort. Add to this by also allowing your child to brush your teeth for you. Helping mommy or daddy with their own hygiene shows them just how fun using a toothbrush can be for them. Creating the impression that a toothbrush is fun is very important.
Pay attention to which nursery rhymes or songs your child likes to sing and put a brushing spin to them. For example, you can change “The wheels on the bus go round and round” to “The toothbrush in the mouth goes round and round”. Pretty simple stuff but effective as well. Singing is another way to increase the fun level of brushing and reinforces the routine by adding more incentive through song. Most importantly, it gives your child the message that brushing teeth is time-oriented. They shouldn’t spend more time brushing than it takes them to hum the tune of their favorite jingle.
Help them out:
Most toddlers are not able to do a thorough job when they are done brushing and so some parents may want to take over and finish the job. This can be tricky, since poking around all willy-nilly in another persons’ mouth doesn’t exactly make them extremely comfortable. Making a game is the best way, such as the “let’s get the giraffe out of your mouth” game. Another game is to jokingly and reassuringly tell them that they still have pieces of their dinner in their mouths and you need to get them out. This helps them get distracted by the fact that someone else is brushing their teeth. At
Kensington Square Dental, helping your little ones pursue good brushing habits for the future is of the utmost importance to us. We offer sound advice for you and work with your family as a whole to make sure that the kids never have to feel uncomfortable about brushing on their own ever again.