Does your sweet little angel turn into an absolute monster the second they see you approaching with their toothbrush? Are you getting exhausted trying to enforce kids teeth cleaning rules in your house?
Don’t throw in the towel! Instead, consider these tips to help you get your children to brush their teeth without complaints.
Short answer — very important.
Some parents think that they don’t need to worry about kids teeth cleaning because their children are eventually going to lose those teeth. In reality, it’s just as important to take care of their baby teeth as it is their adult teeth.
If your kids’ baby teeth are unhealthy, their adult teeth are more likely to be unhealthy.
For example, when the gums aren’t cared for, adult teeth are more likely to grow in crooked. This means braces will probably be in your child’s future.
Untreated tooth decay can also cause chronic health conditions and problems with eating, learning, and speaking.
Okay, you get it. It’s important to set and follow strict kids teeth cleaning rules. How do you actually do this, though?
Give these tips a try today.
The sooner you start teaching your kids healthy dental habits, the better.
One of the first things you need to do when you’re trying to establish kids teeth cleaning rules is to make sure you’re sticking to a consistent routine.
Your children need to brush their teeth at the same time every day, even on weekends and holidays.
When you stick to a routine, teeth brushing will eventually become second nature to your kids. If you have a hard time remembering, try pairing it with other tasks that happen everyday like eating breakfast or reading a bedtime story.
If you have a child who wants to do everything by themselves, use tooth brushing as an opportunity to let them exercise their independence.
Instead of brushing your child’s teeth for them, let him or her to do it alone — with your supervision, of course. It may be a little messy, but giving them control over the process will help them develop motor skills and confidence. They’ll also enjoy getting to do a “big kid” task.
Sometimes, a fun toothbrush can make the process of cleaning teeth a lot more exciting.
Look for a toothbrush that comes in your child’s favorite color, or maybe one that features their favorite TV character.
You may also want to bring your child with you to the store and let them pick it out themselves.
The only caveat is to make sure the tool has the seal of approval from the American Dental Association.
Changing toothpaste flavors might also be helpful. Minty toothpaste is delicious and refreshing for adults, but kids usually have different preferences.
Look for fun flavors like bubblegum or berry. You can also look for kid-themed toothpaste tubes that feature their favorite characters.
Be sure to shop for training toothpaste for children younger than three years old, too. This kind doesn’t have any fluoride in it, so it’s okay if they swallow a little bit while they’re learning to brush on their own.
When it comes to raising children, almost everything becomes easier when you turn it into a game. Toothbrushing is no exception.
How can you make the process of brushing teeth more fun for your kids?
Maybe you can create a fun storyline around teeth cleaning and encourage them to use their toothbrushes to get rid of sugar monsters. Not feeling very creative? There are lots of fun videos and songs available online that you can use to make the brushing more exciting.
Sometimes, just playing a fun song for two minutes (the recommended amount of time kids — and everyone else — should spend brushing their teeth.
Sometimes, a little bribery is necessary to make sure your kids’ teeth stay healthy and strong. You don’t need to pay your kids for brushing their teeth every night. That would be overkill.
But, you might want to offer some kind of reward for brushing their teeth twice a day for a week or month. Maybe they’ll get to stay up late and watch some extra TV.
Use a calendar to track your child’s teeth brushing and let them put a sticker or stamp on every day that they brush in the morning and at night. Some kids love the process of choosing and placing a sticker on the calendar that they actually forget about the prize!
Make sure you’re leading by example, too. Your kids learn from you, and if they don’t see you brushing your teeth, they’re less likely to understand that it’s important.
When you brush your teeth with your kids, you’ll be able to keep an eye on them without them feeling like you’re being overbearing. You’re just brushing your teeth, too, right?
If you have young children who are afraid of having their teeth brushed, you may want to let them practice on you.
It may be a little uncomfortable — after all, toddlers aren’t the most coordinated individuals — but it can also be incredibly beneficial. When you show your child that it’s fun and not scary to brush have your teeth brushed, they’ll be more likely to let you take care of theirs.
If letting them practice on you isn’t happening, you can also have them practice on a doll or stuffed animal. There are even dolls that come with pretend toothbrushes and toothpaste that your kids can practice with.
In addition to sticking to consistent kids teeth cleaning rules at home, you also need to make sure your child gets professional teeth cleaning twice a year.
If you live in the St. Louis area, bring your little one in for an appointment today. Contact us today to set up a cleaning. We can’t wait to meet you!