The basis for a healthy smile starts at home when we are children. Parents looking to ensure the long-term health of their children’s teeth often need to start with the simplest, and most important dental hygiene steps of them all: brushing.
However, brushing teeth might not be a child’s idea of fun, which can sometimes create problems for parents trying to teach these good habits. Here are 5 tips from Cascadia Kids Dentistry about how to successfully teach your child how to brush their teeth.
1. Play a Follow-Along Video
To make teeth brushing fun and ensure you are teaching the right technique, you can play a follow-along video. This will both keep the child engaged and lead to fewer protests when the time comes to brush their teeth.
You can simply search for them on YouTube with your child, and even let them choose the video they find the most interesting.
2. Play Music
Continue to make teeth brushing a fun activity for your child even if they outgrow the follow-along videos. Playing music can be a great way to make teeth brushing seem less like a chore, and more like something enjoyable.
3. Teach by Doing
Children learn by mimicking their guardians, so if you really want your child to learn this good habit, you should do it with them. For one thing, it can help make brushing seem less like a punishment if you are also doing it along with them. Additionally, it can help you teach your child about proper techniques, by showing them how to do it.
4. Reward the Child
Offer your child a little incentive either every time they brush their teeth, or once a specific timeframe passes.
A popular way to motivate the child to brush their teeth every night is to offer them a sticker every time they brush their teeth. They can collect these stickers and see an immediate reward for their good behavior.
Another solution is to offer an incentive at the end of a week. For example, if they brush their teeth two times a day for a week, they can choose a weekend activity for the family, such as going to their favorite park or playing a family game they want.
5. Find a Good Pediatric Dentist for More Healthy Tips
The child should start seeing a dentist as soon as their first baby teeth erupt to make sure all their dental needs are met early on. A pediatric dentist can give you a lot more tips on how to care for the specific dental needs of your child, and help address any dental issues before they can cause any troubles.