Teaching your child the importance of good dental hygiene will pave the way for a lifetime of happy and full-toothed smiles. In theory it sounds simple, but in practice…maybe not so much. The little version of you can amass quite a stubborn personality (they got that from their daddy, right?) especially when it comes to something that can seem uncomfortable and weird at first.
Well fret not dear reader, for you are not alone. Every parent goes through this with their child (at least I hope) so we compiled a list of parenting tips to help teach your child to brush their teeth on a regular basis.
Brushing Your Teeth is Exciting!
Ok well, actually it’s not exciting at all, but if you build it up for your child then they will be a lot more willing to accept it. Throughout the day talk about how fun it’s going to be when you get to brush your teeth tonight. Tell them how great it is to be big enough to brush their own teeth. Got to the store and let them pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste. Keep it on the forefront of their mind all day so that when the time comes the anticipation will completely overshadow any of their trepidation.
Lead By Example
Children love to copy most everything their parents do, so why not make sure one of those things is brushing your teeth? Try placing a footstool next to the sink so you both can brush your teeth together. Show your child how to apply the correct amount of toothpaste, how long to brush for, and how to rinse your mouth and brush when you both are done.
If you’re still having trouble getting your child to brush their teeth, then it’s time to bust out the big guns. Bribery. Now before you start to judge me please keep reading. I remember my mother would give me an M&M for every minute I would practice piano, and by golly this got me practicing for hours on end because of my love for M&Ms. Try rewarding your child for a good tooth brushing.
Make Brushing Fun
As human beings we love entertainment, but lets not kid ourselves…brushing our teeth is not fun at all. So to get your child to brush properly try to make it fun for them! Turn yourselves into a lion, bare your teeth and then brush away. Make a toothbrushing song that is 2 minutes long to sing while your child brushes. Brush each other’s teeth and utilize their competitive nature. Beat the bad plaque monsters by brushing them every night.
Every child is different so what works for some may not work for others. Just remember to make it a pleasant experience for your child and don’t get frustrated if you don’t nail it the first time.
Have tips of your own? Be sure to leave them in the comments section below!