The earlier your kids learn to brush their teeth, the better. If they learn the habits while they’re young, your kids will be more likely to brush their teeth as adults. Healthy gums and cavity-free baby teeth will also lead to better development of adult teeth and reduce the chance that they’ll need braces.
Some kids pick up this vital skill right away, but others require a little convincing. Try these tips to make tooth brushing an enjoyable experience for the entire family.
Buy the Right Accessories
Each of your kids should own a fun and colorful toothbrush in the appropriate size. Adult toothbrushes are far too big for little hands and mouths. Look for cartoon characters, playful designs, and electric toothbrushes that light up when they’re in use.
Don’t forget to change their toothbrushes every three months. This is a good chance to check-in, as well as make sure your kids are actually brushing.
Some kids really don’t like the taste of mint. Look for kid-friendly toothpaste in fruity or bubblegum flavors. When your kids are ready to upgrade to mint, look for mild flavors that won’t overwhelm them.
Finally, consider getting a cute toothbrush holder for the children’s bathroom. A friendly shark, fish, or another animal will help your kids remember to brush every day.
Set Up a Rewards Calendar
Hang a calendar in the bathroom or somewhere that your kids can easily see. Every time your kid successfully brushes their teeth, mark that day on the calendar. Try using fun stickers or a colorful pen; you can even let the kids apply the sticker themselves.
You and your kids should agree on milestones and rewards. Start with an easy benchmark like a week of continued brushing; the reward might be a toy or a treat of their choosing. Reward a month of brushing with dinner at a restaurant, and reward a season of brushing with a movie or another activity they’ve been asking about.
If your kid slacks on their brushing, help them get back on track. Don’t let a single missed night take away a reward they’ve been working toward for a few months. You can always restart the cycle with another one-week reward.
Model Good Brushing Behavior
Kids want to be like their parents. If you love brushing your teeth, they’ll love brushing, too.
Start by maintaining a positive attitude about brushing and going to the dentist. Announce when you’re about to brush your teeth each morning and night. Show excitement when you buy yourself a new toothbrush.
Consider brushing your teeth at the same time as your kids. The activity will seem less strange if you do it alongside them.
After you brush your teeth, smile in the mirror to check your work. Let out a satisfied sigh; you might even comment on how fresh your mouth feels. Kids are looking for behaviors to model. If you exaggerate good habits, they will learn those behaviors more quickly.
Don’t forget to take your kids to the dentist so that they can be rewarded for their good brushing habits. Visit North View Dental for a comfortable and professional dental experience for the entire family. Call us at (801) 528-9099 to schedule an appointment; we’ll also be happy to answer any questions you might have.