Being a good parent requires a lot of time, a lot of energy, and a whole lot of creativity. This is especially true when it comes to getting your little one to form good habits, like regularly brushing their teeth. It’s almost never enough to tell them about the dangers of poor oral hygiene; you’re going to need to find some clever ways to get them to brush every day, twice a day, and without any fuss.
Fortunately, we’ve got plenty of experience convincing kids that brushing is not only good for them, but that it can even be fun and exciting, too. If you’re a parent who’s looking for clever and creative ways to encourage your children to brush regularly, read on for our top six methods.
Make a Routine of It
Just like most adults, children tend to enjoy the familiarity and predictability of a routine. If you set a certain time for brushing and do your best to avoid deviating from the schedule, you will eventually find that you don’t have to do any coaxing to get your little one to join in.
Give Them Incentive
Rewarding your children for good behavior is a tried-and-true way to get them to do what you want them to (i.e., what’s best for them), and it’s no different with brushing. You can offer them some sort of prize, like stickers, or give them words of encouragement. If you want to get really creative, keep a record of their successful brushes and acknowledge milestones. Whatever motivates them to keep up their routine.
Shows and Books About Brushing
The amount of shows and books written to inspire great oral hygiene in children is almost endless, and there’s no doubt that at least one of them includes one of your child’s favorite characters. If you can’t convince your kids to keep brushing, maybe a TV or story character can. And if you want to be a little more creative, you can always tell them your own story about the importance of brushing.
Let Them Choose the Products
A little autonomy can go a long way with your children. There’s a wide variety of toothbrushes and toothpastes designed specifically for kids. Giving them the freedom to pick from these options on their own can make oral hygiene feel like more of a treat than a chore.
Lead by Example
Your little one looks up to you. If they see how much you enjoy brushing your teeth and how you never break your routine, they may just follow suit. Brush twice a day right along with them and turn the healthy habit into an opportunity for a little bit of family togetherness. You might just find them pestering you to brush your teeth.
Make it Fun
Try the best you can to give regular brushing a positive connotation. You can do this by playing music and making up tooth brushing dances, or you can tell a fun or funny tooth brushing story that makes those two minutes fly. If you’re able to make the experience a little entertaining, your little one will hardly even notice they’re brushing their teeth at all.
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