Getting children to brush their teeth can be a pretty daunting task for parents as it’s not always a task that kids greet with enthusiasm – in fact they quite often greet it with absolute resistance. However teeth brushing and good oral hygiene is an important life skill and teaching them how to do it properly when they are young can be important for the health of their teeth are when they’re an adult. Visiting the dentist is also important in maintaining healthy teeth, and should also be built into a life routine, with some experts suggesting that you should take a child to the dentist by their first birthday.
Children are starting to be given braces from the age of six, and with cosmetic dentistry becoming more and more popular with adults to get the perfect set of pearly whites, there is a stronger emphasis on making sure that children are brushing their teeth properly and maintaining a good oral health regime to take into their adulthood. It can be difficult to know when your child has brushed their teeth too, so we have put together some top ways on how to make sure your children brush their teeth.
Brush Your Teeth at the Same Time
The best way to make sure your child is brushing their teeth is to physically watch them doing it. Leading by example is one of the easiest ways to get kids to learn that brushing their teeth and maintaining oral hygiene is a key component to a healthy life. Your children naturally want to be like you, so take advantage of that. Brushing your teeth at the same time not only allows you to monitor your child brushing their teeth, particularly when they want to be more independent and don’t want you to do it for them, but also allows them to feel grown up because they’re doing what you’re doing.
Make Brushing Fun
Trying to get a reluctant child to brush their teeth can be a huge task. However, enthusiasm is contagious, so if Mum and Dad are excited about brushing their teeth, making lots of noise or singing while brushing, then your child will feel like they’re missing out on something and want to join in. Buying fun and colourful brushes for kids can also be a reason for them to want to brush their teeth, particularly over the age of four when they can start using electric toothbrushes. You can even get toothbrushes that flash or light up for sixty seconds to make cleaning even more fun. Good dental hygiene is one of the most valuable skills you can teach a child, so getting them to enjoy it not only allows you to make sure that they are doing it, but also teaches your child life skills in an engaging way.
Use Reward Charts
You can help make sure your child is brushing their teeth by using a reward chart. If they have done it properly then they get a sticker on a chart, which could eventually lead up to a bigger reward. Using reward charts allows you check your children’s teeth to make sure they have brushed properly, and it grows their enthusiasm when it comes to brushing. A reward scheme is one of the best ways to encourage a reluctant child to brush their teeth.
Building brushing into a routine will allow them to naturally begin to do it, so you can be sure that they will. Monitoring this routine when it first begins is important, but once you are sure that your child is doing what they should be doing, you can begin to relax. Sending the subliminal message that tooth brushing is important, both in the morning and just before bed is important for them to take into their adult life. It might take a long time to get the routine in place, and the child might be resistant to it at first, but with encouragement and engagement, they should get used to the idea of cleaning their teeth regularly.
Make Sure they’re Brushing Properly
The best way to make sure your children are brushing their teeth, particularly when it comes to them doing it on their own, is by making sure that they know how to do it properly. There’s no use standing with a toothbrush in your mouth and only cleaning a few teeth. You should guide your child’s hand so they learn the correct movement of brushing. Using a mirror should also be used every time a child brushes their teeth so they can see exactly where the brush is cleaning their teeth. To reinforce the idea of having clean teeth and educating them on where to clean, you can purchase dissolving plaque disclosing tablets or solutions which show you where any remaining plaque is. This shows your child where they are missing on their daily brushing routine, so they begin to learn how to clean their teeth properly.