Winning the Tooth Brushing Battle with Kids
If teaching your kids to brush their teeth has turned the bathroom into a war zone and morning and bedtime routines into twice-daily battles, you’re not alone. Almost every parent meets resistance from their children at some point when it comes to tooth brushing. It’s often your child’s first attempt to determine exactly what the rules of life are really all about. As your child tests the waters of defying responsibility, you know you have to find a way for your child to brush their teeth every day or even better, twice a day. Before you draw another battle line on the bathroom floor or raise your flag to surrender, use these dental care tips to get make tooth brushing a more welcome activity for you, your child, and the future of their beautiful smile.
1. Start brushing habits early. As soon as your child’s first tooth emerges, it’s time to break out the toothbrush and toothpaste. Establish a dental care routine early to instill the habit with less resistance. You can even get your child familiar with the sensations associated with oral hygiene by wiping your baby’s gums with a damp cloth after each feeding.
2. Make it fun from the first moment. Make tooth brushing an exciting part of your child’s life. Allow him or her to pick out their toothbrush and toothpaste at the store. This will allow your child to feel as if they are in control of the situation and, not to mention, they may look forward to using their toothbrush with their favorite cartoon character on it.
3. Turn tooth brushing into mini moments of fun:
- Play music. Music will create a fun ambiance and you can use the music to ensure your child brushes for the recommended two minutes.
- Make it a game. Pretend to search for hidden food in your child’s mouth: “Where are the eggs you ate for breakfast? They must be in here somewhere!” Make it silly and fun for your child.
- Invite a friend. Involve your child’s favorite doll or stuffed animal in tooth brushing. Allow your child to brush their toy’s teeth as well.
4. Choose timing carefully. Schedule brushing before a highly desirable activity, such as story time or bath time. Associating tooth brushing with activities they enjoy will improve the likelihood they will do the activity without resistance.
5. Give rewards. Use a chart to award your child with a sticker each time he or she brushes their teeth without fussing. Set a goal to earn a prize, like an extra bedtime story one night.
6. Invite the whole family. Share the activity with the whole household. As your child brushes, you should brush, too, and if your spouse and siblings are available, everyone can brush together.
7. Be consistent. Keep tooth brushing at the same time each night, so your child knows what to expect and you can better instill the routine.
8. Be the example. Children are impressionable and they will mimic almost everything you do. If you practice good oral hygiene, your child will too. Be enthusiastic about dental care and share that with your child—including visits to your family dentistry experts.
To learn about our family dentistry practice in Flint, call Family Dental Group today at (810) 515-8952 or make an appointment.
Family Dental Group offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Flint. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Family Dental Group, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Family Dental Group.