It is important to motivate children to take care of their teeth. The oral habits children learn in childhood will help avoid dental problems like gingivitis, cavities, and more, as they become adults.
To help parents and guardians motivate their children, we have come up with several ideas you might implement with your children.
Start Brushing Young
Part of developing good oral hygiene depends strongly on forming good habits. Parents should start brushing their children’s teeth before even the first tooth erupts. You do not need a toothbrush to brush gums – a piece of gauze will work just fine.
This will accustom your child to having their teeth brushed and can help lessen anxiety when it comes to those first few dental visits.
Let Children Pick
While many children have questionable tastes when comes to selecting their outfits for the day, they usually can’t go wrong when it comes to picking a toothbrush. By taking ownership over the process of choosing their toothbrush, this may motivate your children to be more consistent in their brushing.
This can also be applied to their toothpaste. While you don’t necessarily want multiple tubes of toothpaste if all of your children want different toothpaste, it may be worth it to help your children brush consistently.
Create A Toothbrushing Reward System
One of the easiest ways to reward children is with a treat, but this is counter-intuitive when it comes to rewarding teeth brushing. We would like to recommend a sticker chart instead.
Have a month-long chart with each child’s name listed. If your child completes both morning and evening teeth brushing, they are allowed to mark that day with a sticker. At the end of the month, you can have a grand prize for the children who complete a month of teeth brushing without missing a single day.
Family Teeth Brushing Time
Brushing your teeth together as a family can do several things for your children.
- Set an example – You can be your children’s teeth brushing example. When helping them transition from you brushing their teeth to brushing it on their own, your children may not be performing the action correctly. By brushing your teeth with your children, they can mimic your actions and learn to brush their teeth effectively.
- Ensure oral health – By having a set time to brush teeth as a family, you can ensure your children are actually brushing their teeth. Young children may be tempted to say they brushed their teeth when they did not. So instead of having to guess if your children brushed their teeth, you can know for sure by the whole family brushing together.
- Create a routine – Creating strong routines helps children learn discipline. We recommend that families brush their teeth together at least every evening at the same time. This will create a routine that children can take with them into adulthood.
There is also the bonus that under parental supervision, it is far less likely your children will use too much toothpaste when brushing.
Whichever methods you implement, be sure you are consistent with them. Then you can enjoy your children’s improved oral health.