Tips for Teaching Kids to Brush

When you have kids, it’s natural to want to help them learn the skills they’ll need in life. There are many things that can be learned by watching other people or by trial and error, but some things are easier when you’re shown how to do them—especially when they involve something as important as brushing and flossing your teeth! In a child’s eyes, brushing teeth is something that can be quite scary, as it’s a new experience. The best approach to teaching your child to enjoy brushing their teeth is to remove the negative stigma associated with it.  Rather than making it a chore, the idea is to make cleaning their teeth a fun and enjoyable experience. 

When children brush their teeth, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to teach them how to brush in an enjoyable manner!

Start Brushing At An Early Age: If you want your children to learn how to properly brush their teeth, then it’s important that you begin teaching them at a young age. By starting early, your children will become comfortable with the concept of brushing on a regular basis.  The idea is to work together with your children to develop a convenient routine. 

Once you have a good routine established, you should thoroughly explain the importance of brushing. It’s important to teach kids about cavities, bad breath, and tooth decay.  

Throughout the entire process, you should remind your child that brushing will lead to a beautiful smile. If you start at an early age, then they’ll know no different and be more willing to brush. 

Equip Your Child And Make It Fun: You’ll want to make sure that your child has the right equipment for brushing such as a high quality tooth paste, floss and a toothbrush. Luckily, many brands of toothbrushes and toothpaste have products geared toward children. Regardless which brand is your favorite, there are sure to be pediatric products made by that same brand. It is a good idea to take your little ones to the store with you and allow them to choose their own toothbrush and toothpaste. 

Here’s a list of things you need to look for when choosing a toothbrush:

  • The size of the brush head: If the brush is too big for their mouth or hand, it can be awkward and uncomfortable for them to use. The same goes if it’s too small—they may not be able to reach all of their teeth.
  • The bristles: Soft-bristled brushes are better suited than hard ones, because they’re gentler on gums and won’t cause as much damage when cleaning around braces or other dental work like crowns or fillings.

Rewards: There are a few ways to incentivize brushing, but one of the easiest is to offer rewards. Think about what your child enjoys and make it part of their brushing routine. You can use stickers or check marks on a chart, or even small treats after each successful brush session! Rewards are a great way to motivate kids and they’ll love having something fun at the end.

 

Offer Assistance When Needed: You may have to brush or floss with them while they’re little, but eventually they will want to do it on their own. Once they can tie their shoes, you’ll know they’re ready for this next big step. When kids are old enough to brush and floss on their own, try setting a timer so you don’t have to monitor them the whole time. You could also start by having one child set the timer and then asking the other child to brush his or her teeth for that amount of time.

Positive Reinforcement: Positive reinforcement is a great way to ensure that children carry this good dental hygiene routine with them for the rest of their lives. For some kids, having a parent brush their teeth for them can be a great way to learn. Having an adult present and guiding the child through the process is much less intimidating than trying it alone. 

Perhaps nothing motivates children more than having a cheerleader by their side, especially when that cheerleader is their parent. This is why it’s so important to compliment your children’s brushing skills and encourage them to brush twice a day on a routine basis. The idea is to focus on allowing kids to do everything themselves and cheering them on as they do so.

Timing is Everything: Consider setting a timer for a few minutes and having them brush their teeth until you hear the timer go off. This can be a fun way to keep track of how long is long enough for brushing (about two minutes).

You can do this in several ways:

  • Use the built-in timer on your phone or tablet, which will keep track of how long each person has been brushing. This works particularly well with young children who may not have good attention spans yet—as soon as their time is up, they’ll know!
  • Use an app on your phone or tablet that has a built-in timer function. The popular app (https://www.mintbrushesmeclean.com/) works great because it also tracks progress based on each individual user’s needs (e.g., whether they have braces).
  • If all else fails, buy yourself a cheap kitchen egg timer from the grocery store and set it down next to your child while he/she brushes!

You could try grabbing your toothbrush and enjoy the brushing routine together. This is also a great approach to ensure that everyone is brushing their teeth for the correct amount of time. You might even consider making a game out of it.

Brushing and flossing are lifelong habits that have to start somewhere!

Brushing and flossing are lifelong habits that have to start somewhere! As a parent, it’s up to you to instill these healthy habits early on in your child’s life.

While brushing and flossing aren’t just for kids, they can be especially important for the health of their teeth and gums. Your child will develop a lifelong pattern when it comes to dental hygiene if you start at an early age—and most importantly, this pattern will make them better able to care for themselves as adults.

Selecting the right dental provider is another crucial step in teaching your children about good dental hygiene. Asking your children’s dentist to give them a thumbs up for brushing by themselves is an awesome way to encourage them. It’s one thing to get the thumbs up of approval from your parent, but it’s a whole other ball game when you receive encouragement from an authority figure dressed in a white jacket.

The right dental provider will also provide you with feedback on other tips and tricks during your visits. He/she should find ways to make your children’s visits to the dentist fun and stress-free which is what we are all about at Coolangatta Dental Group

If you can get your kids into the habit of brushing and flossing their teeth, they will most likely continue doing it as adults. And that’s great news for everyone! We hope these tips will help make your job easier. Remember: there is no one right way to teach kids how to brush and floss their teeth—just be patient, use positive reinforcement whenever possible and keep trying new things until something sticks!

When your children’s teeth do begin to develop, it’s important to schedule visits to a dentist regularly. To make an appointment at any of our three clinic locations, click here.