The struggle is real for millions of parents who fight the same battle twice a day. Getting your kids to brush their teeth can be a real challenge, but it’s one that must be overcome. Nearly half of all American children have some form of tooth decay between ages 2 and 11. This is why it’s never too early to start encouraging your family members to practice proper oral hygiene. The sooner they do, the more likely they’ll have strong, healthy teeth.
Unfortunately, as most parents know, talking kids into doing any chores is an uphill climb. They may need some extra motivation to start brushing regularly. Additionally, visiting the dentist or pediatrician can be a frightening experience for many young ones.
There are some tips you can use to make the process of instilling good habits easier and more successful. You also can try some strategies to help ensure your kids’ dentist visits aren’t as scary as they could be. In both cases, it’s important to remain positive to make sure your children take better care of themselves now and for the rest of their lives.
Encouraging your kids to brush at home can be made a bit easier with these tips:
- Make It a Game
Kids love playing games. If you can turn brushing into a fun experience, they’ll be more likely to do it. Have your child pretend to be a dentist, race him or her to the sink, or pretend you don’t know what a toothbrush does.
- Brush Together
Your children may enjoy mimicking you, so be sure to model good behavior by brushing your teeth alongside them. Making it a family activity helps instill good habits.
- Let Them Choose Their Toothbrushes
Your dentist probably already gives you free ones, but your kids may be more inclined to brush if they get to choose their own toothbrush. Sometimes the presence of a favorite cartoon character or color is enough to motivate them.
- Be Positive
Whenever your children brush their teeth, make sure you give them some positive reinforcement. A few words of encouragement will let them know they’re on the right track.
- Start As Early As Possible
The earlier your kids get in the habit of brushing twice a day, the better. As soon as they’re able to hold a toothbrush by themselves, have them practice.
Take a look at the accompanying guide for additional helpful ideas that teach children how to care for their teeth. Courtesy of Sycamore Hills Dentistry.