Getting your kids to brush their teeth can be a complete pain. They usually don’t like doing it, and many kids would prefer to scream, cry, or complain instead of just getting it over with. Sometimes the process can become so problematic that parents of young children could be tempted to simply skip brushing all together. Kid’s baby teeth are going to fall out anyway right?
Although it’s true that the primary (baby) teeth will eventually fall out and become property of the tooth fairy, children can still develop painful and expensive cavities while they are still there. The primary teeth need to be as healthy as possible since they are the ones that hold the spots open for the permanent, secondary teeth. If your child’s teeth aren’t in good shape, the spaces won’t be preserved well, which could potentially alter the alignment of their future teeth.
Point being, sometimes a parent needs to pull some things out of their magical mom/dad hat to help motivate their children to get into that bathroom to brush those pearly whites. Finding ways for everyone to make this process fun is key, and here are a few ideas that can help:
In todays society kids are watching a lot of television, so it’s not surprising that the majority of children programming features educational information. Networks such as Nickelodeon and PBS often supplement their teachings with web based games or activities to provide kids with an interactive learning experience. Even Spongebob has a cavity-figting game! Simply get online and search for something to help amp up your child’s enthusiasm about brushing their teeth.
Children respond to music, thats just a well-known fact. If you’re having a tough time getting your little one to brush, consider channeling your inner Taylor Swift to help get the job done. You can make up your own teeth-brushing song, or edit existing lyrics to well-known songs to help entice your child to scrub those choppers.
If your child seems uninterested in brushing their teeth under normal circumstances, maybe adding a cape will change their mind. Or, he or she can help batman or superwoman battle the evil villain by destroying tooth monsters using their trusty toothbrush. You know your child’s imaginations better than anyone else, so try and come up with a creative story or scenario that will inspire your child to tackle the task of brushing.
Two minutes is the recommended brushing time for everyone, one minute for each the top and the bottom teeth. We all know that in the “kid world” a minute is equivalent to about 15 seconds, which makes children less effective at cleaning their teeth well. Pick up a kitchen timer, use your phone, or purchase a stopwatch and set your chosen device for one minute while your child brushes the top teeth, then set it for another minute and have them scrub the bottom. If you want to get fancy, they actually sell toothbrushes that play a popular song or flash bright colors for two minutes or so.
These are just a few ideas that could hopefully help you to get your child to practice the proper brushing routine that they need in order to keep their teeth, both primary and secondary, healthy and strong! Remember, a child’s first dental appointment is suggested to happen at after their first tooth erupts or by their first birthday.
If your child is ready for their first visit call us at Carolina Smiles today! Dr. Oliver is sure to take great care them and help them understand the importance of brushing. We are on your team!