When your child is finally old enough to brush their own teeth, do they seem reluctant to participate and take it seriously? Probably.
Don’t worry. There are ways to make nightly tooth-brushing engaging and help your child get into the routine of brushing and flossing before bed. That’s why this month, Apex Family Dental is giving parents tips and advice to excite your child about proper oral hygiene.
Tip #1: Floss and brush with your child.
Kids tend to mimic whatever their parents do, including even the most basic habits and mannerisms. Use this window of opportunity to teach your child good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing with them in front of a mirror before bed and making it a part of your nightly ritual. Teach them how to brush their tongue and gums too!
To make your new evening ritual more exciting, you could even create a new song or rhyme to sing while brushing to make oral hygiene more engaging for your child.
Tip #2: Keep things positive.
One of the worst things you can do is to push your child to brush and floss by threatening them. This will cause your child to have a negative emotional association with brushing that could stick with them even years down the road. The same thing goes for threatening children with a visit to the dentist as a punishment. We want to create positive associations with good oral hygiene, not negative ones! That’s partly why dentists give children prizes after finishing a check-up. The dentist’s office should be a place they will continue visiting throughout their lives, rather than a place to avoid.
Tip #3: Use an hourglass to keep time.
You should always try to spend at least two minutes brushing your teeth, and helping your child pick up this habit while they’re young can be a big plus for their oral health future.
While it may sound funny, using an hourglass to keep time can do a lot to facilitate this. Most children are very kinesthetic, and the tactile experience of using a sand hourglass will not only help them have a better sense of what two minutes “looks like,” but it can also further contribute to the fun of having a bedtime ritual to get excited about.