If you have a child, you may be struggling to find a way to encourage him or her to brush as often and for as long as he or she needs to. Children tend to have things other than brushing their teeth that they would rather make a priority. However, there are some measures you can take to help make brushing more fun. Here are a few of them:
Children love to be rewarded. One way to help your little one brush for the recommended two minutes is to offer him or her a reward when he or she completes the recommended time successfully. Simply set a timer on your smartphone to two minutes and encourage your little one to brush until the alarm sounds. When he or she completes the task, you can reward him or her with a non-food item, such as a sticker or a small toy.
To make the reward even more inviting, post results. Children love for you to display their pictures and work on the front of the refrigerator door. It can be helpful to post a calendar with your child's brushing results displayed. Instead of giving a daily reward in this case, consider giving a reward for a full week or month of proper brushing. Your child will look forward to a special trip to the park or a play date with a special friend.
Like most children, your child probably has favorite flavors. It is unlikely that the minty taste of your adult toothpaste is one of them. It can be helpful to allow a child to select his or her own toothpaste flavor if you are trying to increase brushing time. Brushing sessions are certainly likely to end earlier than they should if the taste of the toothpaste is causing your child physical discomfort or if he or she dislikes it immensely.
Toothpaste flavors designed for children are usually available at any grocery store or drugstore. Flavors may include fruit or candy-like flavors, such as strawberry, grape and bubble gum.
Have a Brushing Contest
Your child likely loves to win. Try encouraging your child to have a brushing contest with you. You can brush side by side trying to see who does a better job with technique and duration. If you allow your child to win, he or she is likely to look forward to the next session. Not only will he or she enjoy better dental health and give you the opportunity to observe his or her brushing technique closely, he or she will enjoy spending time with you.
To learn more ways to help keep your child's teeth healthy, consult with a pediatric dentist like those at Alaska Dentistry For Kids.