It is not always an easy task to get your kids to brush their teeth. It may feel like a big battle when you are tired after a long day or when you are in a rush to leave in the morning. Explaining the importance of brushing and oral care doesn’t always work to encourage them. Instead, they may refuse, throw a tantrum or not brush for as long as they should. But brushing does not have to be a nightmare. By making tooth brushing an enjoyable experience, you will have your kids eager to brush their teeth in no time! Here are a few tips and ideas on how to make brushing teeth fun for kids:
Set an Example: Brush and Floss Together!
Kid’s learn best by watching others and there is no better way than to lead with a positive example. You may have noticed your child copying your habits, actions, and sayings – whether good or bad! You are your child’s biggest inspiration, so get them starting to copy some good habits! Instead of leaving your child alone to brush or doing it for them, start by showing them how to do it. Brush your teeth using exaggerated gestures to clearly show them what you are doing, remembering to brush your tongue and floss! Then give them a big smile to show how nice and clean your teeth look. By brushing your teeth with your child, they will feel more included in the process and more motivated to brush!
Choose a Special Kid’s Toothbrush and Toothpaste
Keep your child interested and excited by buying them a special soft-bristled toothbrush, such as one with their favourite character or Disney princess. Let them pick their own one so they are involved in the process and feel like it truly belongs to them. You can also go beyond the standard mint flavoured toothpastes and get a special flavoured kid’s toothpaste such as strawberry or watermelon. This will help motivate them and get them looking forward to using their own toothbrush and toothpaste!
Reward Systems and Positive Reinforcement
Another way you can encourage your child is by using reward systems. Positive reinforcement is one of the best ways to encourage desirable behaviour. To do this, make a chart or calendar, getting your child to help draw or colour it in so they feel involved. Then every time they brush their teeth with no fuss, give them a sticker to put on the chart. At the end of the month, you could even give a bigger reward for filling up the whole chart, such as a new toy. Also, remember to always praise and encourage your child for their tooth brushing. By showing interest yourself, it will help your child care more about looking after their teeth.
Tooth Brushing Games
Make brushing teeth fun by turning it into a game! Get your child to practice their skills by pretending to brush the teeth of their stuffed animals. You can even let them practice on a toy while you brush their teeth. Or you could make up a fun narrative that makes the process more engaging for your child. You could pretend that your child is a superhero and the destroyer of the evil “Tooth Decayers”. You can even make sound effects with every brush that destroys them and give them a count of all of the evil “Tooth Decayers” that they destroyed. When your child is engaged in the story, they will have more fun in the process. There are also a number of apps and videos online which you can use to make brushing time entertaining.
Switch the Timer for a Song
Ditch the boring 2-minute timer for a fun song or video! Let your child pick their favourite song to listen to while they brush their teeth. Youtube also has an abundance of tooth brushing songs and videos that go for two minutes, so kids can hum along and before they know it two minutes will be up! By adding an entertainment aspect to their routine, they won’t feel as bored or reluctant to brush their teeth.
With these tips, getting your child to brush their teeth will no longer be a nightmare! At Superior Smiles, we are a kid-friendly dentistry clinic. We will help make your child’s visit relaxed, pain-free and fun. To book an appointment, give us a call today! We are open 6 days a week, so it is easy to book in around school and extracurricular activities.