It is a constant challenge to keep kids interested and motivated to do the things that we want them to do: making their beds, doing their homework and getting out the door on time are all things that fall under this category. While we don’t have quick-fixes for all of these challenges, here at Grand Avenue Dental Care, we do have a couple of tips to help you motivate your kids to brush their teeth consistently.
The first way to try to get your kids to do anything, is to be a good example of that activity. That is no different when it come to brushing your teeth. If you are a good example of healthy oral hygiene habits, your kids will see that and be more likely to want to do the same thing! So, be sure YOU are brushing for two minutes, two times a day and flossing once a day!
Another way to encourage your kids is to make brushing FUN! Getting them engaged in the activity, especially at a young age, can be instrumental in creating positive, lifelong habits. With technology so readily available today, there are quite a few apps that you can download to your phone, iPad or tablet, that were created JUST for this situation. A couple of our favorite tooth brushing apps are the Disney Magic Timer and the Brusheez app! They are both kid-approved but there are many more where they came from! See what works best for your child. Some kids really like the tangible, flip-over, 2 minute timer or they might prefer 2 minutes of dancing, while brushing, to their favorite song. Find out what works best for them, and if they loses their initial excitement, try something new!
Fun is always good, but so are rewards and positive reinforcement. Regardless of how you motivate your child to be a better, more consistent brusher, be sure to take notice! Just complementing how well they are doing is wonderful, but it might also be nice to set up a reward program if they do it well. We’ve created the below Brushing Calendar to help with just that. Feel free to print it out and encourage your child to color each half of the day (morning and night) as they brush. They can use their favorite color, green and gold for their favorite team or even stickers in each section. If they fill out the entire calendar for one month, you can arrange a special reward for them. Or, if they bring it in to Grand Avenue Dental Care, with their parents signature- we will give them a special treat.
Remember, as soon as your child gets their first tooth, you should start brushing. You should also schedule them for their first dental visit once they have that first tooth, or by the time they are one year old. The earlier good brushing habits are formed, the better kids are at taking care of their teeth and the less cavities they will experience. We hope these few tips help you to build better brushing habits with your kids! Their bed might still be un-made, but at least their smile will sparkle!