Recent survey results in the US found that just 58% of children brush their teeth twice day. For some reason, kids just hate to brush their teeth.
So how can you get your kids into the bathroom and brushing their teeth properly? Here are 5 tips to help you do just that.
1) Take your children toothbrush shopping
Organize a special shopping trip to buy a new brush for your children.
Make sure to get your son or daughter excited about the trip beforehand, and let them know that they’re going to be allowed to pick out their very own “special” toothbrush.
The psychology behind this is very simple.
When your children choose a brush for themselves, they’re making a subconscious commitment and are therefore much more likely to actually use it.
You’ll find all sorts of colorful brushes, emblazoned with your children’s favorite cartoon characters. It may seem simple, but this step can really help.
2) Establish a routine
Figure out an appropriate time for your kids to brush their teeth, and stick to it religiously.
Routine is an important part of a child’s development.
Not only does routine give them a sense of security, but it also helps them to develop the discipline necessary to do boring things like follow good dental hygiene practices!
3) Make It Fun
It’s not just children who don’t brush their teeth properly; recent polls in the UK showed that 88% of adults fail to brush for 2 minutes each morning.
If we adults find dental hygiene so boring that we can’t do it properly, how can we expect our kids to brush?
Kids are far more likely to cooperate if they find an activity fun. There are all sorts of ways that you can inject a sense of fun into tooth brushing time.
Bring their favorite doll into the bathroom with you. Have your kids practice brushing the doll’s teeth first, tell them how happy their doll is with the job that they did, and then suggest they give it a try on their own teeth.
Grab your smartphone or tablet PC and bring it to the bathroom with you. Fire up YouTube, and search for the term “toothbrush song”. You’ll find hundreds of songs and cartoons designed to make brushing fun for your kids (although some of them may drive mom and dad a little crazy)!
Finally, why not make it into a game? Time how long you son or daughter brushes their teeth, and then encourage them to beat their “record” the next time. Make sure they get a prize when they do though!
4) Make toothbrushing a family activity
Get mom and dad in on the action!
When it’s time for your kids to brush their teeth, make a big deal out of it. Talk together excitedly, and laugh and joke on your way to the bathroom.
Kids hate to miss out on fun, so this may well help pique their natural sense of curiosity and get them to follow you both to the bathroom, where the brushing can commence!
5) Get a kids electric toothbrush
We adults might struggle with modern gadgets from time to time, but kids absolutely love them.
There are several electric toothbrushes on the market that are specifically made for children. They have fun features such as colorful interchangeable designs, and audible jingles and sound effects to encourage children to continue brushing.
Some also start out slowly; gradually increasing the brushing time from one minute to two, in order to cleverly trick children into brushing for long enough!
Many parents have reported great success in getting their kids to brush, once they give them a kids electric toothbrush.
If you’re looking for more dental news and tips, head over to toothbrushtown where you’ll find all the latest articles about oral health.