The facts are simple: preventive care together with thorough at-home dental care can keep our smiles healthy and beautiful. But, convincing your kids or even your teens that they need to brush for at least two minutes twice a day can be harder than it seems.
So, here are 15 fun, simple, and effective ways to encourage your kids and teens to brush.
1. LET THEM PICK THEIR TOOTHBRUSHES
Let your kids choose the color and design of their toothbrush as well as the flavor of the toothpaste. This will make them feel more involved in the process, not just like they are only being told what to do.
2. TURN IT INTO A GAME
Kids love playing, so why not turn brushing into a fun game. You could invent a story about a brave knight (the toothbrush) who is trying to protect the kingdom (their teeth) from a fierce dragon (the bacteria).
3. LISTEN TO A SONG
If it’s hard for your kids and teens to brush their teeth for two minutes, then choose a song together and brush (and dance) while you listen to it.
4. OFFER A REWARD
If games or songs don’t seem to do the trick, then you could create a reward system. For example, you can promise to take them to their favorite park if they brush their teeth properly for one week.
5. LEAD BY EXAMPLE
This is especially useful for young kids as they like to mimic everything their parents do. Brush your teeth with them and teach them by example.
6. EXPLAIN THE IMPORTANCE OF BRUSHING
Your child may not understand why they need to brush every day, so it’s important to explain to them why good oral health is important. You can try turning this into a story too in order to make it more interesting.
7. CREATE A ROUTINE
Kids thrive when they have a clear routine and know what to expect. So, make it a habit to brush every morning after waking up and at night before bedtime.
8. BE CONSISTENT
Consistency is key to creating a new habit. It’s actually said that you need about 21 days to develop a new habit, so make sure that your kids and teens brush their teeth regularly.
9. READ BOOKS
If your child is resisting brushing their teeth, then you can buy children books that explain why brushing is good and necessary.
10. ROLE PLAY
It can be frustrating for your kids to only do what they are told. Let them be in charge for a turn. You can let them brush your teeth or line up a few dolls and teddy bears and ask them to brush their teeth first before you brush theirs.
11. CREATE A CHART
As mentioned above, kids like routines and knowing what to expect. You can create a fun chart with all the activities they need to do in the morning and at night, such as brushing, getting dressed, making their bed, etc. They will have to follow the instructions on the chart and complete all activities.
12. USE APPS
There are plenty of apps and videos, such as Brushing Hero or Disney Magic Timer that show kids how to properly brush their teeth.
13. EXPLAIN THE NATURAL CONSEQUENCES OF NOT BRUSHING
You may think that threatening your child that you will reduce their screen time, for example, will motivate them to brush their teeth, but the truth is that kids and teens react better when you explain the natural and logical consequences of their actions. It may not work from the first time around so be consistent.
14. DON’T NAG
Yes, you care deeply about their oral health and want them to have healthy teeth. But nagging them, especially your teens, can backfire. Instead, leave gentle reminders. For example, instead of keeping the toothbrush tucked away in a drawer, place it in a visible place, such as next to the sink.
15. ASK THE EXPERTS
You may be the last person your teen listens to, but they might listen to a dentist they trust. Schedule an appointment with a dentist who understands their behavior and speaks your kids’ language.
BOOK YOUR CONSULTATION NOW
If you are looking for a modern dentist office that knows how to make dentistry a bit fun, then you should check out Sunray Pediatric Dentistry.
Contact us to schedule your appointment and become part of our family.