Are your children refusing to brush their teeth? Do they take one look at the toothbrush and try to make a run for it? Motivating your kids to brush their teeth can be a challenge. Even 2 minutes of lost playtime can seem like a major sacrifice to your youngster.
If your child absolutely hates to brush their teeth, here are 5 ways you can make toothbrushing fun and encourage healthy dental habits:
1. Let your kids pick their toothbrush and toothpaste
Make toothbrushing fun by letting your children pick their toothbrush and toothpaste! There are so many colorful toothbrushes and kinds of toothpastes to choose from. Your child can pick a toothbrush featuring their favorite cartoon character, a Disney princess, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or whatever catches their eye.
Toothpaste flavors designed to appeal to children also make oral care more exciting! Children’s toothpaste comes in a variety of yummy flavors, including bubblegum, chocolate and strawberry. With a range of kid-friendly toothpaste available, your child is bound to find a flavor they like. They might even look forward to using up their current toothpaste, so they can try out a new crazy flavor.
A fun toothbrush and toothpaste of their choosing will help motivate your children to brush their teeth and keep their mouths healthy. They’ll be more tempted to use a toothbrush and toothpaste they selected and that they know they like.
2. Have your kids brush their teeth to a song
No one ever said you have to brush your teeth in absolute silence. If your child resists your efforts to get them to brush, play an upbeat song so your child can dance while brushing. Playing music will make toothbrushing seem like less of a chore.
Also, having your children brush their teeth to a song will encourage them to brush for the correct amount of time. Dentists recommend brushing for at least 2 minutes. Listening to a song will help make the time fly by! Your kids will have a blast, and they’ll be done brushing their teeth before they know it.
3. Turn toothbrushing into a game
Children love to play games. So, why not turn toothbrushing into a game for your kids? You could make up a story about why your children have to brush their teeth. You could tell them their toothbrush turns them into a superhero that can fight off plaque monsters. Use your imagination and get them excited about taking care of their teeth.
4. Create a reward system
Sometimes your kids just need a little incentive to brush their teeth. Try creating a reward system to help make the process easier. You could create a sticker chart, and have your child pick a sticker after they brush their teeth and place it on the chart. Or you could give them a prize after they’ve brushed their teeth twice a day for a month. The prospect of a reward could convince your kids to cooperate.
5. Make toothbrushing a group activity
If nothing else works, try brushing your teeth with them. Young kids love to imitate their parents’ behavior. You’ll show them that you take your dental health seriously, and they should too. Plus, it will serve as a bonding experience.
It only takes 2 minutes to brush teeth, but that 2 minutes can become an hour or longer when a child refuses to comply. Keep these tips in mind and try to make toothbrushing fun.
At West Chester Dental Arts, we offer a variety of dental services for all ages. We help keep your children’s smiles happy and healthy by offering personalized attention and comprehensive dental care. To learn more about the services we offer, and how we can ensure brighter smiles for your entire family, check out our Services page here.