Old or young, brushing can be one boring task—it is certainly not the most exciting thing to do when a whole list of activities is ahead of you. However, brushing is very important, especially for children who are still learning how to take care of their teeth. So to make it more engaging, Union Hills Family Dentistry has prepared a bag of tricks for parents to try.
Get the Kids Involved
When it’s time to teach your child on how to brush his own teeth, let him experience every step of the process. Bring your child with you to the store so he can choose his own toothbrush and toothpaste right down to the characters on the packaging. This will reinforce the rule that brushing is here to stay while also giving your child a chance to make a few choices.
Set a Timer
When you are teaching your child to brush his teeth, set a timer for 20 seconds and challenge him to brush constantly until the timer goes off. Gradually increase the time they are brushing until your child can successfully brush for two whole minutes—the amount of brushing time recommended.
Brush to the Beat
If two minutes sounds like a long time, try letting your child choose a favorite song to listen to in the bathroom. He could choose something different each day or week and try to brush along with the music. Children will love to hear the rhythm of the toothbrush as they bop along to the music.
Follow the Leader
Get your own habits in check by brushing right alongside your little one. You can set the tone by brushing and your child can look to you for cues and practical tips. Then you can play follow the leader by taking turns leading the other in the brushing process, whether you brush the top first, the bottom first or the sides.
Forming good habits isn’t always about doing the right thing. Sometimes the biggest barrier is simply remembering to do something on a daily basis. This is where incentives come in handy. As your child learns to brush his teeth, you can create rewards to help him along the way.