Do you struggle with getting your kids to brush their teeth twice a day? Is your request met with tears, whining, or a fight? It’s very important to start your child’s oral hygiene routine early so they have a lifetime of healthy smiles. Here are some tips we’ve come up with to help make tooth brushing a fun activity instead of a dreaded chore.
First and foremost, make sure your child knows that brushing their teeth is not optional. Just like eating breakfast and getting dressed, teach your child that this is something that needs to be done twice a day, every day.
Set a good example
Children mimic their parents in every-day life, so let your child watch you brush and floss your teeth! Use exaggerated gestures and show them all the steps to tooth brushing. Finish the demonstration with a big smile and a sense of pride.
Download our brushing chart here. Every time your child brushes their teeth, reward them with a sticker to put on the chart to mark a successful brushing. Keep the stickers out of reach so each time they receive a sticker it remains an exciting surprise. If they successfully fill out a week (or month) with stickers, give your child a toy or extra allowance.
Make it a game
It’s time to get creative. Get your kid a vibrating toothbrush and tell them they are killing alien germs! Or, set an egg timer and make tooth brushing a race for who can brush the longest. Pit them against a sibling for loads of fun.
Music & dance
Playing music while brushing teeth adds an enjoyable component to this mundane task. It can also be used as a timer so your child knows how long they need to brush for. You can even try a musical toothbrush. See how funky you can get by adding dance to your tooth-brushing jam!
If you have a toddler that wants to do everything all by themselves, let them do just that! Have your kiddo brush their teeth like a big boy or girl, and afterward, step in to do a little more thorough job.
Sometimes, Elmo works miracles. Let them watch the Elmo “Brush Brushy Brush” episode. You might get his catchy song stuck in your head but it might create some excitement for your child brushing their teeth. Take it even one step further and let your child brush their Elmo doll’s teeth (you know you have one).
If all of this doesn’t work, we have a few more suggestions.
- Try using warm water
- Change the toothpaste flavor – try fruit, mint, or unflavored
- Try a softer bristled brush
- Go electric. The consistent motion can be calming for your child
We hope these tips help – and please, let us know what worked for you at your next visit!