If you’ve ever tried to get your kids to eat their vegetables or go to bed on time, then you know it can be a serious pain to get them to do something they don’t want to do. The same can be said about getting kids to brush their teeth.
The problem is, of course, brushing their teeth is an essential habit that needs to be instilled from an early age. So if you’re in danger of pulling out your hair to get your kids to brush their teeth, you really have to start thinking creatively.
Being imaginative and inventive is key in encouraging them to make dental health a part of their life.
Make brushing a game
Tell your child that their mouth is invaded daily by “the nasties” and they have to blast the nasties by brushing their teeth. Let them know it takes two minutes of brushing to get rid of the nasties before they spit them down the drain.
This can turn the activity of brushing teeth into a play activity. You can even get special colored tabs that will help them to see the plaque deposits on their teeth so they can be sure to get rid of all the nasties.
Brushing can be tough for kids because they like to just scrub back and forth. This doesn’t work really well because they need to learn to properly brush by moving in small circles.
Teach them to play choo-choo. Kids can visualize the wheels of a train as they go around and around in small circles and mimic this movement. You can even have them make the train chugging noises as they brush to keep it fun and light.
Sing a song
If train noises aren’t their thing, you can have them sing a song while they brush. Kids love making silly noises and the sound of trying to sing while they brush can sound hilarious to a child.
You can create your own “tooth-brushing” song or you can have them sing one of their favorites. Change things up by having the kids say the alphabet while they brush. A short song or the alphabet recital should last about two minutes for proper brushing.
Bring a toy
Finally, if you’re looking to make it fun, try letting your child bring along a favorite stuffed animal. You can even get a toy with big teeth (think rabbit here) and have your child brush the toy’s teeth as well. This helps them to have fun and see how they should be brushing their teeth.
Dr. Mike Mavrostomos is passionate and top-quality comprehensive care dentist located in Bedminster, NJ whose continual pursuit of education and state-of-the-art dentistry has led to his being recognized as one of New Jersey’s Top Dentists by the New Jersey Top-Docs committee.