Brushing is crucial for good oral health, but it is not that exciting. Some children are very resistant to stopping their play or television time to brush. Are you tired of the tantrums, tears and defiance about tooth care? Here are some ways to put an end to the fight.
Lead by Example
Children who see their parents brushing are more likely to do it themselves. Make it a family affair by doing it together. Play a game of follow-the-leader by having them repeat your actions: For example, brush five strokes, and then clap your hands.
Ask Dr. O’Neill
Let the dentist know that you are experiencing a bit of a struggle at home. They can explain to your child why proper care is important and what can happen if the child does not take care of his/her teeth and gums.
Enlist a Fun Role Model
Search the library for storybooks on dental care that feature your child's favorite characters, such Sponge Bob or Dora the Explorer. Encouragement from an older sibling, cousin, babysitter or teacher whom they admire might also make an impact.
Create a Brush Time Playlist of songs
Helping your children get in the habit of brushing twice a day is key to a lifetime of healthy smiles. What better way to make brushing fun than bringing a beat into the bathroom.
Use a tooth brushing App
Why not let technology help make your parenting job a little easier. Apps such as Time2brush,
Dr. Sparkly Smiley HD, Tooth Brushing Timer for KIDZ
Offer an Incentive
There is nothing wrong with resorting to a bribe, but keep the reward realistic, and stick to the terms. Offer a sticker in return for compliance, or have a rule that there will be no television until teeth have been brushed.
Call upon the Tooth Fairy
Sometimes it is necessary to call in the big boss — the Tooth Fairy herself. There are two ways to get the message across using this tactic:
Stick a note on the bathroom mirror from the Tooth Fairy informing your child that she has been doing routine inspections of teeth in the night while children are sleeping in order to monitor the teeth that she will collect. Explain that your child's teeth did not pass inspection and that, if the child wants her to collect them when they fall out, the child needs to start taking better care of them immediately.