Are you tired of the “brush your teeth” rhymes your kid listens to daily?
Well, isn’t that what parenting is all about.
In order to instill healthy oral habits in children, you have to make it interesting for them.
This is only how they will remember to brush twice a day.
Though, this is a task for parents.
Don’t worry, today we will discuss a healthy oral habit of brushing teeth and how you can instill it in your kids.
Keep reading below to learn about the ways that will make them enjoy their brushing routine rather than running away from it.
Let Your Child Select Their Own Toothbrush
One of the most important parts of making your child like something is to get them involved.
When they are part of the plan they feel a sense of confidence and authority.
They will appreciate you let them choose their own toothbrush.
It could either be a manual or an electric toothbrush.
Both of these perform well however, electric toothbrushes can give slightly more protection against plaque.
Make this an event about them starting to brush with all their teeth or changing their toothbrush.
Take them to a nearby mart and let them explore.
They can decide over their favorite color, favorite cartoon character and the size and shape of their toothbrush.
Electric toothbrushes will likely appeal to them more because they also contain timers and music.
Moreover, they also have famous cartoon characters and are easy to use for kids.
Once your child selects their own toothbrush, they will likely be excited to try it.
Plus, if it plays music then they will also look forward to their brushing teeth time.
Hence, a small act of giving them authority can change their opinion about the boring routine.
This brings us to:
Make Their Brushing Routine Fun
Play your kids “Brush Your Teeth” videos and songs.
These videos will not only educate them but also excite them to brush twice every day.
Furthermore, they teach on how they should brush properly i.e. :
- Using gentle circular strokes
- Keeping the brush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line
- Brush below the gum line and at the back of the teeth as well as the front
- Brush all the teeth gently for 2 minutes two times a day
- Clean your tongue as well
You will be surprised to know how much your child can learn only by watching such videos.
Furthermore, play music for 2 minutes so that your child does not stop cleaning their teeth before that.
Play their favorite song to keep them engaged or play some music on their electric toothbrush.
You can also involve, all of your children in a game.
Let them brush in front of you and make it a competition to see who cleans their teeth more thoroughly.
We hope they will forgive you for not always making the right guess!
Though, this will still let them consider brushing time as fun and playtime rather than a bothersome routine habit.
Though, if there is play, there will also be a winner.
So what should you do about that?
Reward Them When They Brush Their Teeth
If you want your child to keep brushing, then you should reward them for doing so.
If one of them wins in their toothbrushing competition then give them extra screen time or give them a healthy snack.
Though, you can also set a calendar for when your child brushes their teeth twice.
Give them a star or a sticker for each day they followed their “brush your teeth twice a day” routine.
Rewarding encourages children to keep persisting.
They will look forward to the reward more than the activity instead.
This way brushing will become a healthy oral habit that they should follow daily in order to get rewards.
Children love to receive rewards and it makes them more confident boosting their self-esteem.
Therefore, whenever you feel like they are losing interest in brushing, reward them for doing it that day.
Also, give equal rewards to all your kids if they play along and compete in a toothbrushing game.
Do not go for pricey rewards like toys.
Give them something you can get them regularly.
So a sticker calendar or a play trip can lift their spirits and encourage them to brush regularly.
Brush Your Teeth With Them
Parents are role models for children.
They learn by imitation and follow in your footsteps.
Whatever parents do, children absorb that by copying.
Hence, every parent should become a good role model for their children.
Besides teaching manners and morality, you should also teach them good oral habits.
They can learn directly from you if you brush beside them.
Make the morning and night brushing routine with the entire family.
Let them see you brush their teeth when they cannot do it for themselves.
When they are able to start brushing on their own they will eventually follow what you have preached to them.
Make this a family activity.
This helps to keep them involved and they will neither run away nor skip any brushing session.
Furthermore, you can lead by example by flossing teeth with them too.
They will learn a good habit while tagging along with you.
Moreover, you will also spare time from your busy routine to teach your kids about flossing and taking care of your oral health in the process.
Similarly, you should also plan family visits to the dentist.
You should plan your child’s first dental visit when they are about a year old.
Taking them to a dentist this early will instill the habit of visiting the dentist frequently.
Furthermore, your dentist can guide you on how to maintain your child’s oral hygiene.
If your child likes them then they will probably like visiting the dentist often.
That too is a healthy oral habit that your children should adapt to early.
Pay Attention To What They Need To Brush Their Teeth
Kids grow too soon.
While young children may lack enough dexterity and motor skills to hold their own toothbrushes, older children can brush their teeth themselves.
Give your children the independence to explore and learn.
It’s okay if they make mistakes because that’s exactly how they will learn.
If they are curious to brush on their own, then let them.
However, you should stay beside them to monitor how well they are brushing.
If they cannot brush properly then you can demonstrate the technique on their favorite toy.
This way they will also get more involved in learning about brushing and can practice it on their favorite toy.
Furthermore, find solutions to their other struggles with brushing.
If they cannot rinse their mouth with cold water then prepare lukewarm water for this purpose.
Get them a brush with soft bristles so that it does not cause them any tooth sensitivity or sensory issues.
Toothpaste flavors can also prevent your child from enjoying brushing.
Get them their favorite flavor preferably with a moderate amount of fluoride and their favorite cartoon characters.
Also, get them a toothbrush with their favorite character.
This way, they will not avoid brushing their teeth rather they will get involved in it.
If you supervise your big boy and girls brushing routine then you can observe if something is preventing them from enjoying it.
Make changes to facilitate them so that they start enjoying and regularly following their brushing routine.
Ways To Improve Oral Hygiene
If your child starts enjoying brushing independently then you have taken care of half of their oral health.
The other half involves flossing, giving them a good diet and limiting their sugar intake.
Start flossing your child’s baby teeth when two teeth start touching each other.
This will remove the food debris stuck between the teeth that brushing alone cannot remove.
Do it once a day and when they develop enough dexterity, teach them how to do it.
You should also make sure that they eat well.
Give them crunch vegetables and fruits while limiting their daily sugar intake.
Eating too many sugary foods will cause them cavities and if that worsens, your dentist will have to take out their tooth.
Then they will require a space maintainer to ensure that all teeth come in the proper place.
To avoid this much trouble, give your child fewer sugars, more vegetables, and more fruits.
Also, replace their fruit juices with water or if you do give them, do so only during meals.
This will let the saliva push down the food without letting it remain stuck on teeth to become bacteria fodder.
Also, do not forget that maintaining good oral habits requires persistence.
Your child will not start developing them as soon as you tell them or show them how to do it.
It will take several tries. Though, they will eventually come through.
Hence, you need to keep telling your child to brush your teeth twice a day until they make it a regular habit.