The professional recommendation is that everyone brush their teeth for two minutes, twice a day. Doing this with a child however can feel like, well, pulling teeth. If you have a kid who isn’t keen on tooth brushing, it’s time to get creative so they can develop good oral health habits and keep their teeth healthy. After all, the Tooth Fairy doesn’t want to collect yucky teeth.
1. Go Shopping Together
There are plenty of toothbrushes, toothpastes, and flossers that are intended to make oral health care fun for kids. Toothbrushes with timers on them, flashing lights, and even music can help a kid look forward to their brushing routine, morning and night. Toothpastes come in different flavors and colors, flossers too.
Giving little ones the independence to choose the tools they like best – always available in favorite cartoon characters – can be all the encouragement they need to take care of their teeth better. Overwhelmed by all the choices? Your Johns Creek dentist is happy to make recommendations.
2. Time Them
Yes, there are toothbrushes that come with timers, letting a child know when they’re halfway done brushing and when two minutes are up. But for the kids who don’t respond well to that kind of pressure/motivation, make some tweaks. Use a brushing app – there are plenty of them, both serious and silly – or pick a favorite song that’s about two minutes long that everyone can jam to while brushing. You can even read a book to them while they brush – bonus, no one will be able to interrupt with a toothbrush in their mouth!
3. Offer Rewards
Even the smallest rewards are positive motivation for kids. Create a brushing chart from a piece of poster board and allow kids to place a sticker in a square every time they brush and floss. Whatever reward will spur your kid into action, give it a shot. A special high-five dance, an extra story at bedtime – there are multiple (inexpensive) ways to let your child know you’re proud of their dedication to their oral health.
4. Make It a Group Activity
Your kids love spending time with you. Brushing your teeth together is a great way to have fun with each other while taking care of an important daily task. If parents make brushing a priority, kids will too.
Set Your Child Up for a Lifetime of Healthy Teeth and Gums
Those little teeth will be falling out soon enough, but they can still develop decay and a need for tooth-colored fillings or crowns. These problems can’t be ignored. Proper tooth brushing is a critical life skill. Help your child develop a positive view of oral health care and establish good brushing and flossing skills at a young age. Develop a routine and stick to it – brushing should be second nature, just like making their bed or doing their chores.
Visit Dr. Mitul Patel and his team at Family & Cosmetic Dental Care in Johns Creek for family dentistry and a gentle introduction to good oral health. We see patients of all ages, because oral health is important at every age. Schedule an appointment twice a year for dental exams and cleanings for your child – and yourself! Contact us today.