Brushing your teeth is the best way to prevent tooth decay or cavities. However, sometimes it can be quite the struggle to get your kids to do it. Dental cavities, or tooth decay, are one of the single most common chronic childhood diseases and what you may not know is that it’s contagious. The bacteria that cause decay can be passed from one person to another by kissing or sharing drinks or silverware. So, how do you get your child to brush their teeth without a major tantrum on your hands? Let’s look at great ways to get your kid to brush their teeth without a lot of fuss.
Make it fun
How fun can brushing your teeth be, right? While it might be boring and routine for adults, for a little kid it can be a lot of fun. Part of the fun is letting them try doing it themselves. Although dentists recommend that you brush their teeth until about the first grade, you can still give them the opportunity to do it before or after you’ve done it. Really, if you think about it, how fun is it to have someone else brush your teeth? After you have taken your turn, give them the brush so they can adapt to the idea of brushing their teeth.
Use a timer
Some kids love racing the clock so incorporate the timer into teeth brushing time and let them have fun and see how many teeth they can brush before the timer goes off! Since you don’t want them to miss any teeth, make sure you give them enough time to get every tooth. Set the timer and say, “on your mark, get set, go.” Let them brush until the timer goes off and then do your inspection. While you’re probably not really inspecting anything, look in your child’s mouth to play the game and “make sure” that every tooth has been brushed.
Buy a battery operated tooth brush
Battery operated tooth brushes have proven to do better work on your teeth than manual tooth brushes and, for children, they are much more fun. Sometimes a simple change from a manual tooth brush to a power tooth brush can have them begging to brush their teeth every night.
Let them pick tools
One of the most fun parts of brushing teeth, for kids, is getting to pick out their own items. Take them to the store with you and let them choose a toothbrush and their toothpaste. If that’s too much for you, or them, to handle then pick out a few different options and bring them home for your kids. The important part is to give them some say in the matter. Let them pick their floss as well and make sure they know how important it is to floss their teeth.
Establish a routine
One of the most important things about brushing is to establish a routine so that at least twice per day, every day, morning and night, they brush their teeth. If you can get them into a routine it won’t be a struggle to get them to do brush because they already know it’s coming.
Brush with your child
Although this may not be what you want, it can be fun for your child to see you brushing their teeth and make them want to do it as well. This holds true especially for younger children as they see the example they are to follow.
Brushing your teeth doesn’t have to be a chore. If you brush your teeth first then brush your child’s teeth and then let them brush their own, you’re teaching them to follow you and every child likes mimicking their parent’s behavior. Make brushing their teeth fun and interesting by using some of the tips here to get your kid to brush their teeth.