Help – My Kids Won’t Brush Their Teeth!
Wanting the best for your kids means you want them to have strong, healthy teeth too. You know they have to brush their teeth (and floss as well!) but it’s a battle – just like getting them to eat what you put in their lunchbox or dragging them away from a screen.
With life being so busy, you can only be stretched so far. Here’s what can you do
Like most things with children, creating routines from an early age is best. Introducing your child to cleaning their teeth even before the teeth come through, helps them get used to the experience.
Make it Fun
Trying to make it an enjoyable, positive process is key.
Use positive words and encouragement when you are brushing their teeth.
Singing a song, telling them a story and speaking kindly to them, will make it more enjoyable.
If you’re positive and happy about the experience, they will be too.
Getting them in a headlock and shoving a toothbrush in their mouth (although you may feel like it!) will just end with you both upset.
Encourage them by letting them choose their own toothbrush and toothpaste with their favourite character such as Minions or Peppa Pig.
Get a colourful timer so they can check they are brushing for long enough.
The Macleans Nurdle Time Brushing App is free and lots of fun, with catchy songs and dances, points to collect and brushing tips.
You can get plaque-disclosing tablets, which your child chews and it shows the areas where they have missed with brushing.
Set A Good Example
Let them see that tooth brushing is a normal activity and that you do it as well. If you have good dental habits, they will too.
When your child sees you brushing your teeth say things like – how clean your teeth feel afterwards, how nice they look in the mirror and how nice your now minty fresh breath is.
Good Preventative Dental Care
Make sure they are getting the best advice:
- Brushing twice a day – morning and night for two minutes
- Using an appropriate toothbrush and flouride containing toothpaste
- Flossing every day – brushing doesn’t get between the teeth and this is where kids get the most cavities
- Moving the brush all around the mouth and over all the teeth surfaces
- Spit out toothpaste after brushing but don’t rinse
Operation Ouch has a great episode on dental care which goes a long way in explaining things
Help With Teeth Brushing
Help your child with brushing until they are around 10 years old. They just don’t have the dexterity before then. If they can’t tie shoelaces, they definitely won’t be able to brush their teeth.
As we know, kids love to be independent, let them have a go at brushing their own teeth first, but then you always go in afterwards – ‘to catch any germs that like to hide from kids’.
Tell Them Why It’s Important
Here’s a couple of examples for little ones:
‘There are sugar bugs and they make holes in the teeth if they don’t get brushed away’.
‘There are germs in your teeth like the germs you get in your belly that make you sick, they will make your tooth sick, if you don’t remove them.’
Tell them they wouldn’t go to bed dirty so they shouldn’t go to bed with dirty teeth either.
Teeth Brushing Rewards
Give them some incentive – reward them with stickers or pencils and other small gifts.
Reward charts are a great idea to encourage them, as well as helping you keep track of things getting done.
Sometimes a compliment from you for a job well done is incentive enough.
As you know from your own experience, most of the damage to teeth happens in childhood and then you spend the rest of your life getting it repaired and replaced.
Why not get your child’s dental health on track.
Call our team today to schedule an appointment on 49575957