Although building good hygiene habits in children is crucial, it can be very difficult to convince them to cooperate. In a constant uphill battle, it’s important to know where your strengths lie.
Here at Dentrix Dental Care, we’ve helped kids and parents over the years maintain positive dental care practices. We’ve seen it all. We know that while most kids do not want anything to do with a mandatory scheduled event like brushing their teeth, there are a few things you can do that can change their minds. Here is a list of 4 ways to help keep your kids excited about brushing their teeth.
1) Reward Good Habits
When trying to convince your child to do anything, there is no better solution then bribery. When children continue to do well and keep up with brushing their teeth, offer a reward for their efforts. A reward can be something sweet for a snack the next day, or it can be an activity like doing something they like. Rewards are a good way to remind them to keep up good habits.
Bargaining is another great way to promote good habits with rewards. If your child refuses to brush on a schedule or when you tell them to, offer them something in return. If it’s going out to a park or some more electronic time, you can change the whole narrative around brushing teeth by giving them a good deal.
2) Make It Fun
Like any activity, adding an element of fun can encourage your kid to try. Try playing their favourite songs while they brush. Or, as a reminder to brush, you can help keep them excited about an important activity.
Whether you are making up your own song to sing while you brush or looking one up online, anything that adds fun to the activity will be sure to make them more excited. In addition to anything you can find online, many shows made for children have episodes or songs that can promote brushing teeth. If your child has a favourite show or hero, look for a song or video of them brushing their teeth.
Likewise, there are numerous games to play that can help get your child to become excited that it’s time to brush their teeth. Pretending to play dentist is a great example of getting your child to think about brushing more while still playing. Enlisting the help of some stuffed animal friends or dolls, you can transform brushing teeth into a game with all their favourite toys.
3) Let Them Pick Their Own Brush
Kids want to do everything themselves, but it is important they are getting the job done right. One of the easiest ways to bridge this gap is by taking your kid out and letting them pick a toothbrush they like.
With such a large selection of toothbrushes for children, letting them pick their favourite cartoon or movie character can make a world of difference to them. There are also multiple flavours of toothpaste available to make this activity a bit tastier.
4) Brush with Them
Kids love to mimic their parents and learn by example. One of the best ways to convince your child to brush their teeth is to stand there with them and brush your teeth. This can be a great opportunity to spend time with your child in the morning and night as well.
Another way to motivate them is to invite a friend or older sibling to do it with them. Leading by example is very important, but children do not always want to listen to their parents. This is why sometimes having their friends do it resonates better with them.
Although it may be frustrating, creating healthy habits for your children and reinforcing good dental hygiene is a critical part of raising your children. While you still have the opportunity, these tips can make a world of difference and develop a healthy future for your child.