One of the essential life skills kids need to learn is how to brush their teeth. Getting them to practice this habit for two minutes a day is a small step, but it can help them maintain their long-term health. If brushing your child’s teeth has become a daily battle, there are some simple yet effective ways to make it fun and keep them smiling.
The Importance of Brushing Teeth At Any Age
Some parents think it’s not a big deal if their kids don’t brush their teeth at least twice a day. They assume that it won’t be a problem if they eventually lose their baby teeth. However, kids can develop tooth decay and discomfort by not brushing now. Not brushing at a young age can also lead to poor oral hygiene habits.
According to the CDC, tooth decay is a common chronic condition that affects roughly 20% of kids between the ages of 5 and 11. If your kids don’t brush their teeth regularly, there are a few simple steps that you can take to establish a healthy oral hygiene routine.
Tips For Getting Your Child to Properly Brush Their Teeth
Getting ready for brushing is essential, as it can help children develop confidence and avoid anxiety. Some of the best ways to prepare them are by reading books, watching videos, and going to the dentist. Talk about how the brush can “tickle” your teeth and how you got a new toothpaste. Younger kids can also try gnawing on a brush without any paste.
Give Them a Demonstration
First, teach your kids how to brush their teeth by holding a toothbrush. This step will help them develop their independence and start to practice this habit. However, some kids will still refuse to brush their teeth. Some parents can help their kids learn proper techniques by simply encouraging them.
While your child is brushing, let them see how you are doing it by demonstrating how you clean their teeth using circles. You can show them how you clean their teeth by moving train wheels around a track.
Make Brushing Their Teeth a Routine
The best way to help children form healthy habits is by developing a routine and sticking with it. If you’re tempted to let your kid skip brushing after a long day or during times when your schedule is not ideal, keep at it. Regular brushing will help make it easier for them to practice this habit.
Acknowledge Their Good Behaviour
Reward them for their good behaviour by making a reward chart or giving them stickers. It could be as simple as saying, “I’m so proud of you”. You’re encouraging your child to keep up the excellent work by rewarding them and acknowledging their good behaviour.
Brushing Teeth Can Be a Fun Game
Two minutes is the minimum amount of time that kids should spend brushing their teeth. Set a time limit and let them try to finish the task in the correct amount of time. At home we brush our teeth standing on one leg to work on our balance at the same time, we move our free leg around to make it more of a challenge. This way, brushing their teeth becomes less of a task or chore and instead can be a fun time to spend every morning and evening.