Early childhood is the perfect time to start enforcing positive brushing habits. Young children are constantly soaking up information and learning from their family, friends, and environment. While persuading kids to properly brush their teeth can prove frustrating to most parents, oral hygiene is an important component to their overall health. Here are some great tips to help motivate children to brush their teeth.
Even before teething, start caring for your infant’s mouth. Use “training” toothbrushes to massage the gums or gently wipe down the inside of the mouth after feedings. Once teeth break through the gums, start brushing their teeth for them. Children who are used to having their mouths cleaned will be more receptive to brushing their teeth on their own.
Brush Your Teeth Together
Lead by example, and brush your teeth together twice every day. This shows children how important oral hygiene is, while also allowing them to learn from your experience. They can pick up good techniques, and you can show them how to brush those hard-to-reach places.
Let Them Choose Their Own Toothbrush & Toothpaste
If children are excited about their toothbrush, they will also be excited about using it. Take your child shopping and allow them to pick out an age-appropriate toothbrush. These days, many toothbrushes boast beloved cartoon characters and can even play music. Likewise, children’s toothpaste comes in milder flavors and visually appealing packaging.
Make It Fun
Play music and let kids use their imaginations. If it seems like a mundane chore, most children will attempt to avoid it at all costs. There are even smartphone apps designed to encourage positive brushing habits.
Create a Rewards Chart
Children love positive reinforcement, and small incentives go a long way. Create a reward chart yourself, or find one to download online. Children can keep track of their tooth brushing, and you can pick a small reward for the job well done.
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