By: Michelle Tunquist
Getting kids to brush their teeth can be a chore that few parents look forward to. If your children are like mine, they’ve been known to run and hide as soon as the words “brush your teeth” are muttered. Little kids are rarely concerned about the future of their teeth, and many think losing a couple teeth is actually something that they wouldn’t mind. Changing teeth brushing from a chore to a positive experience can make a big difference in getting your kids to brush. Here are a few tips for how to make teeth brushing go more smoothly.
- Show them the Plaque. Plaque-disclosing tablets color the plaque on your child’s teeth and allow them to really see where they need to brush. Many kids love to use these tablets and it helps them understand how to brush more effectively. There are also some mouthwashes that will tint plaque and allow kids to see where they should brush. You can find plaque-disclosing tablets at the dentist, the pharmacist’s counter and online.
- Make it Fun. Kids are more likely to brush if it is a positive experience. Rather than make it another boring chore, liven it up and make it fun. Try:
- Making Bubbles. Have a competition with your kids to see who can make the most bubbles. This will make brushing fun and encourage them to brush more. After all, the more they brush, the more bubbles they will make.
- Brushing with a Stuffed Animal. Let them bring a friend to brushing time. Simply bringing a stuffed animal will make the process more fun. Maybe their friend needs his/her teeth brushed too.
- Singing a Song. Choose a favorite song and play it while they brush, or encourage them to sing a favorite song in their head.
- Using an Egg Timer. Kids love to use timers. Set up the timer and have them brush till the sand runs out.
- Praise Your Kids. Everyone loves to get praised. When your kids do a good job, let them know you appreciate their efforts. It takes very little effort to say a positive word, but it can make the difference in how your kids feel about teeth brushing time.
- Let them Pick the Toothpaste/Toothbrush. There are all types of fun toothbrushes and toothpaste. Letting your kids pick their favorite character can motivate them to brush their teeth. Sometimes all it takes to look forward to teeth brushing time is their favorite cartoon character.
Tips for Parents
As parents, we are ultimately responsible for the health of our children’s teeth. Here are a few tips to help keep their teeth healthy and bright.
- Schedule your kid’s first appointment when they are one years old. The earlier they come in, the better. This allows them to build a positive experience at the dentist and make sure that healthy habits start when they are little.
- Brush your kid’s teeth twice a day. Once they begin brushing on their own, make sure to continue to check that they are doing a good job and removing all food residue.
- Floss your kid’s teeth as soon as they start touching. Once teeth are close together, food can easily get caught between the teeth and cause teeth to decay. If regular flossing is difficult, use child friendly flossers.
- Talk to your dentist about sealants. Sealants protect teeth and prevent cavities.
Idaho Falls Dentist Keeps Kids Smiling
At our Idaho Falls family dentistry, we care about our littlest patients and want them to enjoy their experience at the dentist. We strive to make their visit as comfortable as possible. Call today to make an appointment for your little ones.