As an adult, it’s easy to understand why it’s important to brush your teeth. But for kids, it’s not as easy. So, the trick to get your kids to brush their teeth is to find creative ways to motivate them. But the problem with toothbrushing is that kids find it boring. If you are running out of ideas to make your kids brush more, here are three tips that could make all the difference.
Be Flexible About the Location
Brushing teeth usually happens in the bathroom right before bedtime or right after meals. That’s the rule. Except, it doesn’t have to be. As a parent, it is important to pick your battles and decide what matters to you in any given situation.
So, forget those arbitrary rules you may have used to get your kids to brush their teeth in the bathroom at the same time every day. Try letting them brush anytime, anywhere, as long as they remember to brush, as long as they aren’t too messy.
Let Your Kids Pick Their Own Toothbrush
If you let your child pick their own toothbrush they are guaranteed to pick the most expensive, unnecessarily obnoxious toothbrush in the aisle. Let them, because it’s a matter of basic psychology. Children of all ages are fighting for control of their lives, whether they realize it or not.
Letting your child pick their own toothbrush gives them partial ownership over the process and an emotional stake in the routine. Hearing “do you want to use your glow-in-the-dark superhero toothbrush” is also guaranteed to generate excitement over an otherwise boring activity. To get your kids to brush their teeth more often, let them choose their favorite toothbrush.
Provide Positive Reinforcement
Bribery has become a dirty word in parenting circles. But no matter what your parents, grandparents, or uppity friends may tell you, rewarding has always been an effective parenting technique. A small, meaningful, consistent reward is effective for encouraging any number of positive behaviors, including toothbrushing.
So, don’t feel guilty for helping your child establish healthy, lifelong habits. That doesn’t mean offering them a $100 bill, though. To get your kids to brush their teeth regularly, encourage them with healthy treats. If they have a successful dental visit, offer a small toy or reward for that, too.
More Tips to Get Your Kids to Brush Their Teeth
Let’s face it – no one looks forward to brushing their teeth every day. However, it is a necessary task that doesn’t take more than a few minutes at most. And no one wants cavities or a root canal, so to get your kids to brush their teeth often, talk about oral health. Help your children understand that great oral hygiene leads to great overall health, too.