Tips & Tricks to Get Your Child to Brush Their Teeth
Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones. On any given night, you can find your kids dutifully standing in front of the bathroom mirror diligently brushing their teeth, without even being asked.
Chances are that’s not the scene at your house though. More than likely you fall into the category with millions of other parents who face an all-out tantrum each time they reach for their child’s toothbrush, as if they threatened to take away their video games for the day.
If you’re in the latter group, stay tuned. We’ve got a couple of tips & tricks we’ve heard from other parents to help you out.
Let them be the grown up for 2 minutes
How fun is brushing your teeth? Not much, right? It’s probably even less fun when someone’s doing it for you. But hand over the toothbrush, and brushing gets infinitely more fun for kids. Remember, dentists recommend that you brush their teeth until about first grade (simply because they lack the manual dexterity to do a good job until then), so whether you take your turn before or after theirs, you’re still responsible for the ultimate cleanliness of their teeth.
Race against the clock
Kids should be using a timer when brushing their teeth anyway because we all know that they have absolutely no concept of time (hence the 5 “Are we there yet’s?!” within the first 30 minutes of an 8 hour car ride). Step it up a notch and make it a race against time, telling them they have to brush each and every tooth before the timer goes off. When the bell rings, make sure they pass your inspection before you declare a winner.
Let them pick their own tools
Sometimes all it takes is a “special” trip to the store to let your little one pick out their very own toothbrush and toothpaste. It might just be the ticket to get them excited enough to brush their teeth twice a day.
Monkey see, monkey do, right? If your children see you brushing your teeth every morning and night, they’ll be more likely to do themselves. Invite your kids to brush their teeth alongside you, and then teach them by example how well and how long they should brush.
Establish a routine
We saved the least fun for last. It might not be a trick you can employ today to make brushing easier, but over the long run, establishing a routine will pay off. If you don’t give in to tantrums and insist they brush their teeth every morning and night, eventually the fits will wane as your kids realize there’s no way out of it, and it’s easier just to brush their teeth than complain.
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