Brushing your child’s teeth from an early age is so important but it can really be a bit of a battle. Here are some ideas on how to make it fun!
The best time to start taking care of your teeth is from an early age, it’s never too soon to start looking after those gnashers! However, tooth-brushing can feel like a real chore for many children while others find the feel of a toothbrush difficult to tolerate.
The good news is with a bit of patience and creativity, it’s possible to make brushing fun and help to establish a good routine. Here are some ideas which will help along the way.
Let Your Child Pick Their Own Brush
Getting your child involved in tooth-brushing is a great way to buy in their engagement. If they feel part of the process they’ll be far more likely to brush their teeth without an enormous battle.
In the shops you’ll find an array of fun character toothbrushes and little quirks such as brushes that light up, or accompanying timers that look like a toy. Take your little one along and let them pick out their favourite and they’ll be desperate to start brushing their teeth – an easy tip that works like magic!
Set It To Music
A bit of music always makes activities seem more fun and brushing teeth is no exception. Find a piece of music or song that your child loves and they’ll enjoy the time they spend brushing their teeth. Make sure it’s at least two minutes long and then you’ll have an automatic timer; this makes it really easy for your child to know how long they need to brush for.
There are even some apps available for both Android and iOS that have music specifically designed for children to brush their teeth to.
Turn It Into A Game
Making things feel like a game is always a sure-fire winner with children and there’s no end to the ideas for brushing teeth. Getting their teddies and studded toys involved is a good ploy – maybe you could get them to pretend to brush their teddy’s teeth and then vice versa?
Role playing can help too, make believe that one soft toy doesn’t want to have his teeth brushed and get your child to persuade them. Perhaps one way for your little one to show the teddy there’s nothing to be scared of is to brush their own teeth first…wink, wink!
Get Them To Brush Your Teeth
A different way to get your child involved is to allow them to brush your teeth first. You’ll need to grit your teeth – not literally! – and pretend that it feels great. Show them that there’s nothing to be frightened about and they might be brave enough to tackle them own next.
An old favourite but a solution that works for many children, a reward chart is worth considering. Giving your child a tick for every time they brush their teeth and when they’ve reached a certain number, give them a small (sugar-free) treat.
If you’re stuck for ideas, we’re always willing to lend a hand here at Sloan Dental. Make an appointment and bring your child in and we can help with tooth-brushing technique and other dental hygiene concerns.