3 Tips To Encourage Young Children To Brush Their Teeth

Posted on: 17 February 2018

Are you the parent of a young child? Do you struggle with him or her about getting him or her to brush his or her teeth? Good dental hygiene is important but can be a difficult skill to pass on to the next generation. Very young children are unlikely to completely understand the concept of cavities and so it can be difficult to persuade them to thoroughly brush their teeth as they should. Fortunately, there are things you can do that will help instill good dental habits in your child at an early age. Some of these things include:

Let your child pick a toothbrush: Although the various attributes of your toothbrush, such as what color it is, may be completely meaningless and arbitrary to you, this isn't necessarily the case for young children. Your child may care very much whether he or she brushes with a blue toothbrush or a green one or a pink one. If your child's pediatric dentist hands out toothbrushes after each visit, your child may be in awe and insist on using that toothbrush forever or he or she may want to save it and not use it. Whatever the case may be, letting your child choose which toothbrush he or she will be using can help to eliminate many arguments.

Buy different toothpaste: Toothpaste that is made for adults can be extremely unpleasant to young children. The strong mint taste is often harsh on a young mouth, making your child want to avoid the experience whenever possible. This is part of why there are toothpaste varieties formulated especially for children. Although you might think that bubblegum or fruit-flavored toothpaste is nonsense, purchasing a tube of this can make the brushing of teeth a slightly more pleasant experience for your child. If you're not sure which type of toothpaste is appropriate for young children, ask your child's pediatric dentist for recommendations.

Make a reward chart: Many parents make a chore chart to keep track of various chores but they may not think to incorporate the brushing of teeth into this chart. This is likely because it's not something that adults think of as a chore in the same way as making a bed or putting away toys would be a chore. However, to a child, brushing his or her teeth is definitely a chore that takes away from things that he or she would rather be doing. Make a special chore chart just for the brushing of teeth, with minor rewards for brushing his or her teeth a certain number of times. Simply handing out a few stickers on a daily or weekly basis can be a good reward for very young children. For slightly older children, consider offering slightly bigger rewards such as a wanted toy or just a special meal after his or her visit to the pediatric dentist if he or she is able to brush his or her teeth on a certain number of days between now and the next appointment.

Contact a clinic, like Apollo Dental Center, for more help.