• 16 DEC 14
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    4 Tips on How to Help Your Child Enjoy Brushing Teeth

    4 Tips on How to Help Your Child Enjoy Brushing Teeth

    We can’t brush our child’s teeth forever & even though many dental organizations say seven years of age is a good age to stop, you might be hesitant.  You might be thinking, “What if she misses some spots or swallows the toothpaste or does like it at all?” Don’t let the bedtime nightmare of a kid that just won’t brush his teeth keep you up at night. We’ve come up with a few tips to help you & help your child enjoy brushing teeth.

    4 Tips on How to Help Your Child Enjoy Brushing Teeth

    1. You are the example; so set a good one

    We don’t come into the world know exactly what to do in every situation & so when we’re young we look to our peers around us for the answers. We copy them & put our own spin on it as we go along. Now that we are the peers, it’s our turn to be the example. We better be a good one.

    If & when you are brushing your child’s teeth, don’t stop there. Make sure to brush your teeth in front of them. Try handing them a dry toothbrush when they are old enough to grip the handle so that they can copy your movements. This will be great starter practice for them for when they are finally ready to brush their own teeth. It will also show them that cleaning our teeth is a part of everyone’s routine every day.

    Lighten the mood during that time by making brushing your teeth a game. Try to see which one of you can make the most brushing foam or have a special dance, song or fun activity. This will help them associate cleaning their teeth with the fun they are having & they will be more likely to enjoy participating in the regular daily teeth cleaning routine. You might enjoy it better too.

    2. Leave the toothpaste out of it

    Many kids won’t like the idea of toothpaste at first & this might be the reason they are fighting you about performing the task. This is not necessarily an issue. Today we have fruit flavored toothpaste & paste that can be ingested without causing harm to your child. If they are still resisting, then let them brush with a simple wet toothbrush. It isn’t as good as using toothpaste, but it is better than not brushing at all & the act of brushing is what is most important, the other elements can be added in time.

    3. Make it a family affair

    If your child sees both caregivers enjoying brushing their teeth every day, they will want to do it too. Get the whole group involved & it will become a bonding experience for you & your child.

    It’s best to begin these activities when your child is young, even too young to brush their own teeth. Bring the fun every time & they will possibly even look forward to tooth brushing time. Use crazy antics like brushing each other’s teeth or the family pet’s teeth. These fun games will make brushing fun, exciting & will get your child(ren) into a routine that will stick with them throughout their life.

    4. Get positive

    Frustration can get the best of you if your child is slow to catch on to the brushing routine. Keep positive because hope is not lost & your child can still acquire good brushing habits.

    Even though it is tempting to use a drilling shot-filled dentist visit as a form of brushing motivation; do not do it. If getting them to brush two times a day is hard; try hauling them in for their next annual or semi-annual check-up. The dentist shouldn’t be a punishment.

    In place of punishment try rewards. Have a check sheet on the back of the bathroom door & check off each time your child brushes their teeth. Make it a goal for the week & offer a smile reward of their choosing from some parent pre-selected alternatives.

    The main way to get your child(ren) to enjoy brushing their teeth is to make it a fun activity. When you make it fun they will look forward to it & be well on their way to making positive dental decisions for years to come.

    Call Midway Family Dental Center today at (772)464-4822 for an appointment and learn more about maintaining great dental health!

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