5 Tips To Get Your Children Brushing
1. Make sure the toothbrush is a fun object, not something to be feared. If someone shoves a strange object into your mouth, you’re going to pull away. The same is true for children. Instead let your child hold the toothbrush and play with it before you begin brushing. They won’t be able to brush their own teeth, but it allows them to get comfortable with it, instead of being scared of it.
2. Children love to imitate. After struggling to get my son to open his mouth wide enough to get the toothbrush in there, I decided to try a new approach. I simply began brushing my teeth at the same time. Soon, he wanted to have his own toothbrush while I brushed my teeth. It was a fun game to copy daddy, not a chore to complete.
3. Give them a break. Holding your mouth open for an extended period of time can be very tiring for a young child. That is why when I brush, I will count to five, then we stop and take a break. To make it fun, I vary the ways we count, we sing, count in Spanish, or use funny voices.
4. Use the right toothbrush. Many people will ask me what is the right toothbrush for my kid. The answer is, the toothbrush that your children like and gets them excited about brushing their teeth, that is the right toothbrush. Some kids like colored toothbrushes, or maybe one with their favorite action hero on it. Whatever they like, is what is best for them.
5. Reward Success. Keep track of successful tooth brushing sessions. A calendar on the wall, a sticker chart, or some other way of keeping track of when your child cooperates brushing their teeth. When they reach an agreed upon milestone, give them a reward such as a new toothbrush or toothpaste flavor.
Beginning a routine a successful tooth brushing early in life will get your children on the right path to brushing their own teeth on a regular basis as well as getting them on track to good oral health.