Children learn by example. So, if you want your child to brush their teeth, you have to do it yourself as well. Lead by example and make it a family affair. Here are a few tips you can follow to help encourage your little ones to brush their teeth.
It’s important to teach your children about proper brushing techniques. However, you also need to set a timer or watch the clock to make sure they’re brushing for long enough! Dentists recommend brushing for at least two minutes twice per day. You can set the timer on your smartphone or use a simple kitchen timer to keep track of how long you’ve been brushing. If your child is still having difficulty keeping track of their time, there are also electric toothbrushes that come with a built-in timer and will play a song when it’s finished.
When a child is in charge of picking out their toothbrush, they’re more likely to use them. Let them choose a toothbrush with their favorite cartoon character or color so they are more likely to have fun with it and be excited to brush their teeth. When they pick out the toothbrush, they will feel a sense of control over the process; this will encourage them to be consistent in caring for their teeth every day. If you’d prefer to give them a little guidance as to what to look for when purchasing a new toothbrush, make sure to buy a soft-bristled age-appropriate toothbrush designed for their child’s specific age bracket.
Children often mimic their parents or siblings, so when they see you taking care of your teeth, they will want to do the same. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to show them how to clean their teeth every second of every day but make sure you’re doing it in front of them so that they can see how important it is for you. You should also make it a family affair so that everyone is on the same page when it comes to dental hygiene.
It’s proven making brushing more exciting helps your children form positive associations with good dental hygiene habits. From their favorite TV show theme songs to current radio hits, there’s no shortage of options for a fun playlist. A one-minute song is usually the perfect amount of time to brush your teeth. Be sure to include a variety of genres and artists to keep their attention focused. The more fun they have while cleaning their teeth, the more likely they are to continue those habits in the future. Remember to include songs that are upbeat and fun about brushing teeth.
In addition to setting a timer for your child to brush their teeth, you may want to design a reward system to encourage regular brushing. For example, if your child brushes their teeth twice every day, you could reward them with a small treat or their favorite toy. This will teach your child that the act of flossing and brushing their teeth is enjoyable and rewarding.
Many dentists recommend reading picture books to young children about good oral health habits at an early age. The earlier you begin to educate your kids on proper dental care, the higher the likelihood that they will grow up with great dental health.
To learn more, please schedule an appointment online or call us at (480) 838-8558 and have a consultation with Dr. Christopher Payne. We will be happy to help.