Brushing Doesn’t Have To Be a Battle
If getting your child to brush their teeth every day is an uphill battle in your house, you aren’t alone. With 75% of parents admitting in a 2014 survey that their kids “sometimes” or “frequently” forget to brush, motivating your child to take care of their dental hygiene can feel like a chore. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here’s a few tricks you can use to motivate your child to brush their teeth without being asked.
Use Reasoning They Understand
For children who are too young to comprehend the benefits of a healthy mouth and gums, brushing their teeth can seem like one more mundane task keeping them from playtime. Instead of repeatedly asking them to go brush, add on a rationale they can understand. The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California Berkeley recommends using language like “Please go brush your teeth so they feel clean and healthy today.”
Consider Using Technology
If you’re comfortable with it, some children respond well to making brushing more exciting using technology. You can purchase electric toothbrushes that pair with apps to help improve your child’s brushing, such as the Philips Sonicare app or the Oral-B Disney magic timer app, or keep your kid engaged using fun ways to track how long they’ve brushed like Brusheez and Brush DJ.
One of the best ways to motivate your child to have is to be involved in the process yourself. If you can, take the time to brush your teeth alongside them in the morning before work and before they go to bed. Modeling positive behavior is one way to build healthy habits without having to nag.
Catch Them In the Act
Positive reinforcement always tops negative. Praise your child heartily when you catch them brushing their teeth without being asked. If your child is struggling to remember that they need to brush their teeth, try hanging up a calendar and helping them affix a sticker to it once the task is complete.
Our office understand the challenges parents and guardians face when helping children brush twice a day, every day. If tooth brushing time is still a struggle for your family, ask our dental assistants at your next appointment for more pointers.
What strategies help motivate your child to brush their teeth? We’d love to hear about them – drop us a line in the comments section below.