Getting children to diligently brush their teeth can be a difficult habit to cultivate, and is usually accompanied with varying degrees of frustration. And with the media suggesting that one in eight children aged three suffers from dental caries, it is certainly important that you find ways to encourage your children to clean their teeth.
Kids love games and fun things. So, here are a few tips to get your child excited about brushing his/her teeth.
1. Lead by example
Children love to imitate what other people do, which makes leading by example a great way to cultivate great habits that last a lifetime. Prepare a routine so you can brush your teeth together twice a day, showing them how to clean those hard to reach areas. You also get the chance to educate them on the importance of cleaning their teeth.
2. A 2-Minute brushing song
Your children should enjoy brushing their teeth if there is a catchy song playing in the background. The song could be provided by an app or something that you come up with depending on what your child likes. Music is a fantastic way to motivate kids to do something.
3. A timed game
Use a stopwatch or kitchen timer to play a racing game with your child. Set the timer to two minutes and challenge your kid to finish brushing at the same time as the countdown. You can even buy kids toothbrushes that play songs that enable kids to keep brushing for the entire two minutes.
4. Super hero fan
Something as simple as a piece of cloth or towel nicely fitted in your child’s garment can turn him/her into a cavity crusader. Brushing their teeth is their only weapon in the fight against evil germs to save their precious crowns. Buying a toothbrush with your son or daughter’s most favorite cartoon/movie character or super hero to give them a fighting partner can enhance this feeling.
5. A reward system
You can also create a sticker chart or use an app that collects points each time your child completes the task of brushing their teeth, with an award once they reach a certain point. You could arrange the rewards such that he/she gets a new toothbrush every 3 months.
It is recommended that parents start brushing their kids’ teeth twice a day immediately the first milk tooth emerges, which is at the age of 6 months. From the age of three to six years, you can start using a smear of the family toothpaste so the fluoride can help protect new teeth (at 1,350 – 1500 parts per million-ppm-of fluoride). Encourage them to brush for 2 minutes, and supervise them till the age of seven or eight.