How to Win the Brushing Battle With Your Kid
Trying to persuade your children to brush their teeth can sometimes feel like preparing for battle. Refusing to open their mouths, disliking the taste or crying in pain due to their sensitive gums and growing teeth are just some of the ‘attacks’ you have to fight as a parent when it comes to cleaning your kids’ teeth. Luckily, there are some excellent ways to encourage your little one to find joy in their all-important cleaning routine. Below, we outline four methods to turn a brushing battle into a budding habit.
Build Routines Early
The sooner little ones get used to the act of cleaning their teeth, the easier it will be to build a familiar routine. You can start building a routine as soon as your baby starts teething, by using a clean face flannel on their gums to get them accustomed to feeling something in their mouth. As they get older, try to associate teeth cleaning with their bedtime, to create a stable routine. For example, bathtime, pyjamas, brushing teeth and then a story in bed.
Explain The Importance
Find a simple way to teach your child why it’s super important that they clean their teeth twice a day. One idea is to explain that after they eat, bacteria go bananas over the sugar stuck to their teeth (like ants at a picnic)! When they understand that the purpose of this daily ritual is to clear all these bacteria away from their teeth, they’re more likely to take part without complaint. To make their experience more comfortable, it’s also important to reduce any pain by ensuring you purchase brushes with soft bristles and press very lightly against their teeth when lending a helping hand.
Let Them Pick a Fun Toothbrush
By allowing your child to choose their own toothbrush, you’re inviting them to feel a sense of ownership and attachment. There are so many fun and enticing paediatric toothbrushes available, displaying attractive colours or your kids’ favourite characters across the handle. Children’s toothbrushes are designed with little hands and mouths in mind, with smaller bristles to boost comfort and thicker handles for easier grasping.
Top tip: Opt for age-appropriate toothpaste - whether that’s strawberry or bubblegum - rather than using your own minty flavour, which could be overwhelming for young tastebuds. If your child enjoys the taste of their toothpaste, they’re much more likely to cooperate with cleaning!
Make it a Family Event
A simple way to get little ones excited about cleaning their teeth is to get the whole family involved. Have you noticed that your kid loves to copy everything you do? Why not show them how you brush your teeth, and then spend time with the whole family to brush altogether twice a day? Another fun way to bond over brushing is to build a game out of it! For example, encourage them to dance to their favourite song while cleaning their teeth.
If you need more advice on your child’s dental hygiene or want to book a check-up, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the friendly team at Camira Dental.