Your child should follow a daily routine of brushing and flossing their teeth in order to protect their tiny teeth from decay and other oral health problems. But we know that getting your little one to actually brush day and night can sometimes be challenging. It’s a good thing your pediatric dentist in The Woodlands has some tips and tricks that you can try in order to help make brushing fun and something your child wants to do.
Family Fun Time
One of the easiest ways to encourage your child to brush their teeth is to make it a family fun event. You can brush your teeth at the same time and turn a necessary habit into a bonding activity. Join your kid in front of the mirror and brush each area of the mouth, making sure to brush for a total of 2 minutes.
Incentivize Healthy Habits
Another fun and easy thing you can do to help make brushing more than a chore is to create a reward system. You may also see your pediatric dentist in The Woodlands follow this tip after dental appointments. Have with it, get creative, and make it your own. Perhaps your child is motivated by a sticker chart and a small gift once the chart is full, or maybe they can pick their bedtime story every night they brush their teeth.
One of the things your pediatric dentist in The Woodlands often recommends before a dental appointment is that you play dentist with your child at home, allowing them to be the dentist. Have them pick out a toy, sit it in a chair (or make one yourself out of cardboard!), and use a toothbrush to show you how well they can clean the toy’s teeth and how easy it is to do. Playing make-believe and laughing while also teaching your little one how they’re protecting the toy’s smile is a great way to make brushing fun and stress-free.
If your child likes to play games or get a little silly, use that to help motivate them to brush their teeth. You can play music and dance a little bit while brushing, or you can use a timer to help make sure they clean each section of their teeth thoroughly before moving on to the next. In fact, there’s even an app that has timed music just for brushing!
Children that are used to having their teeth brushed, even if it just starts with a wet cloth wiping down gums, are more likely to adapt to brushing their teeth as they grow up. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, parents should start brushing their kids’ teeth before the first tooth even appears, and kids should see their pediatric dentist in The Woodlands no later than their first birthday.
Making brushing fun for your child while also educating them on why it’s important can help set them up for a lifetime of healthy smiles. If you try the tips above and are still having trouble getting your child to brush regularly, talk with your child’s dentist.