Your child doesn’t let you brush his teeth! Here are 5 tips to add a bit of fun to your child’s daily routine
The importance of brushing is a commonly discussed topic at the dentist. However, not so commonly discussed, are the challenges every parent faces to reconcile his or her child with their own toothbrush. In today’s day and age, most children break up with their toothbrush and it takes every effort on the parents part to get the two back together in a working relationship!
Is that what’s happening with you and your child! Most parents simply force their child to do it. Although it is convenient at the time, however, it results in resistance later on in life and a resentment to oral hygiene and possibly the dentist. Here are 5 tips to make brushing fun for your child again:
1. Invest in an electric toothbrush. Try to sell it as a game, toy or gift. Your child can get emotionally attached to it if it’s his favorite cartoon character. You can present it as a tickly brush to keep cavities away.
2. Set protected “family” time for brushing. So you can add it to the daily routine and the child sees it as fun time with mommy or daddy. Modeling works best with children. Instead of telling them what to do: show them how to do it. It’s a great idea to brush in front of the child and allow the child to observe cleaning the “sugar monsters” away. You can also offer that they brush your teeth for you. It’s important to leave the child at ease and not make them feel pressured.
3. Go Digital. Download some apps specifically targeting young ones to have fun with oral hygiene. This is their electronic age anyway and they would take up to it very quickly. Some of these entertaining apps are:
A- Disney Magic Timer
B- Brush DJ
C- Time to brush
Some apps teach children how to brush, others reveal a cool picture after the 2 mins of brushing are up, some record the activity for a month and then the child.
4. Use a timer. It helps the child brush for 2 mins straight- the average time recommended by your dentist. Most apps or electric brushes have a built in timer. Your child will soon be rocking the stage while brushing!
5- YouTube is your ally. Last but not least, show your child a cartoon episode that teaches brushing, it’s benefits and techniques. There are many famous cartoon videos on YouTube. You are definitely most likely to find a character that your child relates to.
So which one of these tips will work with your child? Let us know in the comments below.
Dr. Yasmin Kottait DDS, HDD, MFDS Ed, MSc
Specialist Pediatric Dentist