When your child is very small, you brush their teeth for them. But as soon as they get old enough to be able to hold a toothbrush, they need to learn how to brush their teeth by themselves.
Often, getting kids to brush their teeth twice a day can feel like a battle. Fortunately, according to pediatric dentist Staci Brunell, DMD, from Yorktown Pediatric Dentistry in Yorktown Heights, NY, there are ways to make even the most stubborn child look forward to brushing their teeth.
If your child is resistant to regular toothbrushing, try these techniques to get them excited.
Tips for getting your child excited to brush their teeth
Do you have a child who’s resistant to toothbrushing and are looking for inspiration? Give these ideas a try.
Make it entertaining
Does your child love music or videos? If so, make toothbrushing time an event by playing their favorite song or video clip while they brush their teeth.
For inspiration, the American Dental Association offers a toothbrushing playlist for children to listen to while they brush. There are also toothbrushing apps for kids that encourage them to brush their teeth.
Choose toothbrushing gear they like
Your child is more likely to enjoy brushing their teeth if they look forward to a cute toothbrush and toothpaste that tastes good. Take your child shopping with you and let them pick out their favorite toothbrush, toothpaste flavors, and accessories.
Let your child brush their toy’s “teeth”
If your child has a toy, stuffed animal, or doll they love, let them practice toothbrushing by brushing their toy’s teeth. This can become a regular part of your child’s routine if they especially enjoy it.
Set an example
Children look up to their parents, and you can take advantage of that by showing off your good habits and inspiring them to emulate you. Make toothbrushing a fun family activity by having everyone brush their teeth together.
Create a reward system
Setting up a positive rewards system can help your child keep brushing to get a prize they love. Make the process of earning the reward fun by setting up a chart your child can see to track their progress.
Once they’ve earned the reward, they can get any agreed-upon prize, ranging from a toy to additional screen time to an activity they love.
Set up a dental appointment
If other types of encouragement aren’t working, our team can help encourage your child to brush regularly at their regular dental cleaning. At these dental cleanings, our team ensures your child’s oral hygiene is on track and can see if there are any physical issues, such as teeth sensitivity, that are barriers to brushing their teeth.
Our warm, encouraging, and child-friendly team works with you and your child to support them in brushing regularly. We can answer any questions your child has and ensure they know how to correctly brush.
Getting your child to brush their teeth isn’t always easy, but the right encouragement and support can turn even the most reluctant child into a happy brusher. For support with your child’s dental health, contact us to make an appointment.