Even for the most diligent brushers among us, it can be a difficult task to get your child excited about brushing. As adults, we know both the short and long term benefits of a proper and consistent brushing routine. In your child’s eyes, it’s quite possible they could see brushing as a chore; something they are somewhat obligated to do, just because you told them so.
Brushing teeth is one of the most important things your child will learn to integrate into their daily lives, very early on. The absolute best way to get your child brushing is to make it fun! We’ve put together a list of ways to help get your child enthusiastic about brushing.
10 Ways to Make Brushing Fun:
- Buy a New Toothbrush
By letting your child pick out their own toothbrush (with your approval and guidance, of course) they will feel a sense of pride in ownership, and will be happy to use something they chose themselves and is theirs alone. This is a great way to get your child excited about seeing their toothbrush everyday, as it could be their favourite colour, or have one of their favourite characters on it!
- Invest in Tasty Toothpaste
While you’re at the store, pick up some child-friendly toothpaste as well. Many types of toothpaste now come in fun flavours and colours, with familiar characters to boot. Don’t worry, parents, these toothpastes have the same cleaning ability, but are just better suited to amuse and engage your children while brushing, as a strong mint flavour can be too harsh for their tiny taste buds.
- Brush Together
Your child may be at the monkey-see, monkey-do age. If this is the case, take advantage of it! Make a point of brushing in the bathroom with your child, to show them the importance of brushing for everyone. If your children see you making a point to brush your teeth, and enjoying it, they are likely to tag along and follow suit.
- Bring a Buddy
Does your child have a favourite stuffed animal or toy? Allow them to bring one of their stuffed buddies into the bathroom during their brushing time. This will help your child to connect teeth brushing with fun and play, and move further away from the idea that it’s a chore. They can even show their buddy how to brush!
- Make Brushing Musical
Let’s face it: every little task is much more fun when there is music playing. Pick one of your child’s favourite songs, and be sure to play it during teeth brushing time. If the song is around 2 minutes long, tell your child they must be brushing the entire time the song is playing!
- Create a Sticker Poster
Children are inherently very visual, so a sticker poster is a great way to show them the benefit and reward of brushing. For every day or every time they brush, place a sticker on a board. Your child will be proud of all the stickers they have collected, and you could even have a reward when they reach a certain number of stickers.
- Read Books About Brushing
Children still may not understand the importance or purpose of brushing. Finding helpful or educational books about brushing, incorporating characters they know and recognize, is a helpful way to explain the benefits and importance of brushing.
- Get Into a Routine
Children identify with routine, as it helps them to understand the world around them. Add brushing in as part of the morning and bedtime routine, and your child will slowly become accustomed to brushing on a regular basis. Plus, once your children learn that reading a bedtime story comes right after brushing in their routine, they will be eager to get their brushing all done so they can have story time.
- Make it Fun!
However you choose to get your child used to brushing, don’t forget to make it fun! If your child enjoys their time while brushing their teeth, they are more likely to do so without a fight.
- Educate Your Child About Dental Care
One main hurdle is that children don’t understand the importance of brushing, and of general oral care. By getting your child familiar with regular teeth brushing and dental appointments early on, they will become comfortable with taking their dental care into their own hands.
At Dr. Walter Heidary Family Dentistry, we use 3 types of children’s dentistry appointments to help children take control of their oral health. By introducing children to all aspects of their dental care and appointments early on, we are confident that your children will have healthy smiles for life. Contact us to learn more about our children’s dentistry program, and to book your child an appointment today!