Get started early
If it’s done from the start, kids are generally more accepting of it. The first tooth usually comes through at around 6 months of age. Start brushing from this early stage and keep it part of the routine so children know what to expect.
Make it fun
Use songs or rhymes and keep it a fun part of the day. You might like to try a sticker chart to motivate your children to brush their teeth. Let them choose their toothbrush with their favourite character on or get them to decorate it with stickers. Ultimately try not to make it seem like a chore and use fun tactics.
Your dental professional can advise you on how often your children need a check-up. Routinely schedule these appointments to maintain dental hygiene. Having a professional tell your child they need to brush their teeth can also be encouraging for them. If they aren’t likely to listen to you they may let a professional teach them how to take care of their teeth.
Practise what you preach
Simply telling children to brush their teeth might not work. You could brush your own teeth at the same time and let them see what you are doing. Show them that dental hygiene is important to you and that everyone else has to brush their teeth. They can always attempt to brush their own teeth at the same time. Always follow with a thorough job until they can do it properly by themselves.
If the tooth fairy visits your home you could teach them that the tooth fairy only takes clean teeth. Encouraging little notes from the tooth fairy can be a great motivator as well.
There are a number of children’s books that have a dental hygiene theme to help educate children about the importance of brushing their teeth. You can even make up your own stories and make your child the star.
It’s really important that your children brush their teeth twice a day for optimum dental hygiene. Different ways of encouragement work for different children. Try these tips and persist in promoting brushing teeth to your child.