Make Toothbrushing Fun for Your Child
Getting your children to brush their teeth can be a lot like, well, pulling teeth, and it is a challenge many parents list among their greatest difficulties. But getting children to brush—and do it correctly—may require a change of perspective. Dentists have spent decades helping children view taking care of their teeth not as a chore to be dreaded but as a game to be enjoyed. Here are a few of their techniques you might want to try with your children.
Musical molars: Brushing the teeth requires a certain amount of time. Most electronic toothbrushes have built-in timers to make sure that at least two minutes are spent brushing teeth. But what if, instead of counting up to two minutes, you used music to pass the time? Pick a favorite children’s song at least two minutes long. Challenge your child to thoroughly brush each tooth before the song ends. If he or she manages to brush every tooth with time left, challenge the child to brush each tooth twice! Remember to monitor the toothbrushing. They cannot win the game if they don’t brush each tooth thoroughly or if they neglect their gum lines!
Harry Potter and the Plaque of Peril: Why not take advantage of your child’s love of make-believe? Turn toothbrushing time into a story featuring their favorite characters. Perhaps you could say that Lord Voldemort (of Harry Potter fame) put plaque on the teeth to help the Death Eaters control your child’s mind and that he or she must brush that plaque away before it becomes dangerous. For children who are easily scared, use a less-threatening villain.
ChoreMonster: An app for iOS, Android and Windows smartphones and tablets called “ChoreMonster” creates a reward structure for children who complete their chores. You set a schedule for how often a task needs to be completed, and assign from 5 to 5,000 points for completing it. When a certain point level is reached, the child can choose an appropriate reward that you have created. Many parents find that using the app helps motivate their offspring to become more disciplined about their personal responsibilities. Why not add toothbrushing to the to-do list?
Seasoned parents know that the best way to turn a child off from toothbrushing is to make it a struggle. We have many other easy tips and tricks to get children to brush their teeth in our oral care toolbox. Let us know if you need additional suggestions at your child’s next visit to KiDDS Dental.
Click here to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jared. Or give us a call at (509)-891-7070.