One of the hardest challenges parents face is convincing their children to brush their teeth twice a day. Even with ample encouragement, it can still be a hassle to ensure children are brushing regularly. However, parents should remain adamant as nearly half of all American children will experience some form of tooth decay throughout their adolescence (ages 2 through 11). Luckily for those struggling parents, there are a number of ways to improve children’s brushing habits at home below.
Make it Fun: children are kept more engaged when they’re enjoying whatever they’re doing. Often times it can be hard for children to maintain any sort of excitement while brushing their teeth. Aiming to keep their children entertained throughout the time spent brushing is a parent’s main goal. This can be done in whatever way is best suited for any parents’ children. For some families, it might be a race to the bathroom to see who can start brushing first. For others, maybe it’s an interactive mobile app to use while brushing. Whatever the case might be, make it fun enough that children don’t mind the two minutes spent brushing,
Family Matters:in some cases, children won’t always respond to ‘fun’ tactics that parents use to keep them brushing. In fact, some children don’t prefer this route at all. Many children enjoy the comfort they get when being accompanied by their parent, for those families, brushing together is usually the best way to keep children earnest with their dental hygiene. Make a morning and nightly routine of brushing with the family until your children feel confident enough to brush on their own.
Toothbrush Expression: the days of boring toothbrushes are over. A smaller boost to a child’s willingness to brush can come from them selecting their own toothbrush. Maybe they find a toothbrush while at the store that has their favorite cartoon character illustrated on the brush. Or maybe they prefer the toothbrushes that emit melodies as they’re used. Whatever the case maybe, if your child shows a preference to a particular toothbrush, purchasing it can be a great way to keep them motivated to brush more regularly.
Positive Reinforcement: when a positive mental attitude isn’t enough, sometimes setting a goal with an attached prize for your children is the best route. If your child is truly struggling, set the intervals lightly and move towards longer periods of time. For example, begin with a one-week goal of brushing twice daily for something small. Then, up the goal to a month straight, for a larger prize. This will go a long way in establishing a lasting habit without the children even realizing it.
These tips serve as a great foundation for parents that have trouble keeping their children brushing on a regular basis. For additional information regarding children’s dental hygiene and their dental visits, be sure to check out the resource coupled with this post. Courtesy of Sycamore Hills Dentistry.