As adults, we reach for our toothbrush twice a day without giving it a second thought. Kids, though, not so much. Are your kids protesting over brushing their teeth? Do they claim to be brushing nightly only for you to find a dry toothbrush in the bathroom?
It’s tough getting kids to brush their teeth. But starting them early with this healthy habit can make all the difference down the road.
Cavities are actually one of the most common chronic diseases among children in the United States. Untreated cavities lead to pain and infections, which can result in problems with eating, speaking and even learning at school.
We’ve put together some tips to help put an end to brushing battles:
🦷 Let your kids choose their own fun toothbrush and toothpaste flavor. Give them a choice of child-sized toothbrushes and fluoride toothpaste with their favorite movie or TV character.
🦷 Invest in a kids’ electric toothbrush. These often have a built-in timer to ensure a full 2 minutes of brushing.
🦷 Turn dental care into a family affair. Brush and floss with your kids to model good oral behavior.
🦷 Reward regular brushing. If your kids already get stickers on a chore chart, add brushing and flossing to the list. This will help them get into the habit of good dental hygiene.
🦷 Go for the gross-out factor. Instead of talking about what can happen if your kids don’t brush their teeth, why not show them. Find a few photos online that show the results of tooth decay or gum disease. Use plaque disclosing tablets or rinses to highlight areas they may have missed.
🦷 Lastly, supervise morning and evening dental care. If your children are younger or struggling with proper brushing, monitor their efforts. Demonstrate brushing and flossing best practices, set a timer or sing a song so they learn to brush for the recommended 2 minutes.
Even if there’s fussing and fighting, stand your ground on the importance of good dental hygiene. When your kids have healthy teeth well into adulthood, you’ll be glad you did!