Getting your child to brush their teeth may not be the easiest task, but it is essential that you teach your kids the importance of proper oral hygiene at a young age. While some may think that baby teeth don’t matter because they simply get replaced by adult teeth, poor oral hygiene at a young age can continue even when adult teeth emerge. Here are a few ways to make brushing your teeth fun for your child to help them develop good habits as early as possible.
Let Them Pick Out Their Own Toothbrush and Toothpaste
There are a whole variety of themed toothbrushes and toothpastes that can appeal to your kid’s interests. Take them to the store and let them look around and pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste. They might be a lot more eager to get home and try it out.
Let Them Do the Whole Routine
Kids love to do everything themselves; they want to feel like a big kid who can do it all! For younger kids who are just starting out brushing their own teeth, let them explore their independence and have them go through the whole routine themselves, from putting the toothpaste on the brush to brushing to cleaning it off and putting everything away. Not only can this encourage them to regularly brush their teeth, but it develops motor skills, confidence, and independence.
Let Them Practice on Others
If you’re tired of fighting with your kids to get them to brush their own teeth, let them practice on your mouth, if you’re comfortable with it. They might find it fun to practice on mom or dad, and be sure to be a good actor and make brushing teeth seem like a whole lot of fun.
If you’d rather them not practice on you, you can have them practice on a doll or stuffed animal, with or without toothpaste depending on how messy you’re willing to get. Brushing teeth can seem way more fun if a toy is involved, and it can encourage your kids to follow suit!
Reward Them for Doing It Right
Make a “toothbrushing” calendar for you kids and use stickers to mark the days they properly brushed their teeth every morning and night. Get a variety of stickers and keep each new one a secret so your kid has an exciting surprise to look forward too. If your child successfully fills up a whole month straight (or a time period of your choice), reward them with an even bigger surprise, such as a “bonus” in allowance or a new toy they’ve been asking for.
Set a Good Example
Kids always look up to mom and dad and their routines, whether it’s a little boy watching as his dad shaves or a little girl watching her mom put on makeup in the morning. Kids tend to imitate what their parents do, so use this to your advantage and make sure they see you brushing your teeth regularly. They may be more inclined to be like mom or dad and keep their teeth just as clean.
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