Children are often reluctant to participate in hygienic activities and unfortunately, dental care is usually no different. If your child has begun brushing their own teeth you probably know how frustrating those four minutes of the day can be. What many parents don’t know is that there are ways to get your child excited about brushing their teeth. Yes, excited. In order to make teeth brushing time easier on both you and your child, try out these simple tricks:
1. Let them pick out their toothbrush
Allowing your child to choose their own toothbrush is a great first step in getting them interested in their oral hygiene. Seeing their favorite TV character or even their favorite color on their toothbrush will give them a sense of ownership and pride. Just like buying a new toy, they won’t be able to wait to get home and try it out!
2. Consider the toothpaste
Children can be picky, and similar to food, they won’t want to use a toothpaste that doesn’t appeal to their taste buds. Find a toothpaste that your child likes by trying out different flavors such as bubblegum or strawberry. Bonus points for getting some with sparkles or cool colors! Just make sure the toothpaste you choose is right for your child. Children should use fluoride-free toothpaste up until the age of 3. When in doubt, give us a call and we’ll help you figure out what toothpaste is best for your child!
3. Praise your child
Positive reinforcement is the most effective training method for children. Praising your child for brushing their teeth can go a long way. If your child is just beginning to brush their teeth on their own, try telling them you want to “check out the good work” they’ve done while doing touch ups during your inspection. Having a sticker chart handy is also a good idea to keep track of their morning and night brushings for each day of the week. Give them a sticker to put on the chart each time they complete a brushing. After all, children behave best when following a proper routine!
4. Make it fun
If children see teeth brushing as work or a chore, most likely they won’t want anything to do with it. Try making the activity fun by creating a two minute song that will encourage your child to keep brushing. You can also turn it into a game by challenging your child to make as many bubbles as they can! Imagination goes a long way, especially with children, so don’t be afraid to get creative!
Here at Smile Haven Dental Center, we will be sure to treat your child with enthusiasm and encouragement! Call us at 860-584-2051 to schedule an appointment today!