Getting Kids to Enjoy Brushing More

Parents may have more in common with their dentist than they thought. Many parents and their dentist struggle to keep kids teeth, gums and mouths clean. When it’s time for kids to start brushing, many of them tend to put up a bit of resistance. There are a number of reasons why they may fight this nightly routine, such as they don’t understand how the process works, or they may not like the taste of the toothpaste. The good news is, as a parent you can help children learn to enjoy the task of brushing their teeth. Here are a few tips to help your children enjoy brushing their teeth.

Begin Early and Demonstrate

Using a clean cloth and water, parents should begin cleaning their children’s gums as soon as they are born. When their first tooth erupts, you can start using infant or toddler toothpaste. The earlier you start cleaning children's teeth, the easier it will be to ensure they understand the importance of brushing. Brushing correctly takes practice, so when it’s time for your children to do it on their own, you will need to demonstrate the process. Demonstrate by showing them how to put the toothpaste on the toothbrush and how to hold the brush. Children naturally mimic their parents, so standing next to them and brushing together will encourage them to try brushing on their own.

Choosing the Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Children tend to enjoy brushing more if they have a toothbrush that is colorful, fun and themed with their favorite characters. To ensure they brush for the recommended amount of time, consider a toothbrush that lights up and/or plays music until it’s time to stop brushing. Letting them pick out their toothbrush can get them excited about brushing. When choosing toothpaste, opt for flavors that your child likes, just make sure it is ADA-approved toothpaste for children.

Make Brushing Fun

Along with providing children with a toothbrush and toothpaste they like, there are a variety of other ways to encourage kids to brush. Some ways to make brushing fun could include:

  • Telling children a story while they brush or singing them a song
  • Keep a chart and add a colorful sticker for every night they brush
  • Use education tools/videos, such as “The Adventures of Timmy the Tooth”

Don’t forget to make trips to the dentist fun as well. For instance, try combining a visit to the dentist with something your child enjoys, such as going to a movie. When children associate brushing and oral hygiene with positive experiences, they will be more like to keep their teeth clean and healthy.

Contact Great Lakes Dental to schedule your children’s cleaning and examinations.