Ask any parent what the most challenging part of their day is and most will agree that it’s getting their kids ready for the day in the morning or getting their kids ready for bed at night. Out of all the daily hygiene tasks that parents help their kids with, the one that causes the most resistance is often then brushing and flossing of their teeth. Too young to understand the threat that poor dental hygiene will cause them of tooth decay and gum issues later in life, a lot of kids would be content to just eschew brushing their teeth altogether. To help you raise kids who understand the importance of proper oral hygiene, here are some tips on how to encourage your kids to brush and floss.
Never Skip Brushing
Sometimes, if parents meet too much resistance from their kids, they’ll allow them to skip brushing their teeth, often saying, “just this once.” Not only is once enough for a cavity to begin to form, but it also tells your kids that brushing is encouraged but not required. To really show your kids that brushing and flossing must be a twice-a-day, every day part of their lives, it’s crucial that you never allow them to skip brushing their teeth.
Make It a Family Affair
Kids crave structured family activities. By making tooth brushing time a family event, your kids will learn the importance of oral hygiene by watching you. The bathroom might get a little crowded, but this is an excellent way to make dental care routine.
Have The Right Tools
Companies make kids’ dental hygiene products for a reason. Get your kids a fun toothbrush, perhaps one that lights up or sings, in addition to a tasty and child-friendly tooth paste. Many parents make the mistake of disallowing their kids to use bubble gum or fruit toothpaste because they fear that their children’s teeth aren’t getting as clean as they would if they used a regular mint paste. However, as long as you’re using a dentist-approved brand like Colgate or Crest, you can rest assured that these kids’ toothpastes are just as effective as their adult counterparts.
Make it Musical
Ideally, your child should spend two minutes brushing his or her teeth. Creating some kind of musical timer system that plays for two minutes and ends when they may stop brushing is a great idea to train your kids on how long to brush. If you don’t want to sing or create a playlist, invest in one of the many toothbrushes that come in with a built-in musical timer.
It’s not hard to teach your kids to care about dental hygiene, but it does take a little commitment. No child naturally has the urge to brush and floss twice a day. However, as long as you as a parent continue to reinforce the idea that oral hygiene is necessary and can even be fun, your child will eventually make brushing and flossing a habit and know to brush their teeth even without your guidance.