Are you the parent of a young child? Have you been struggling with how to get him or her to brush his or her teeth? To a young child, brushing teeth is a pointless activity and the time would be better spent playing with toys, eating snacks, or doing almost anything else. Of course, as an adult, you know the importance of good dental hygiene and caring for your teeth. But until your child is old enough to understand exactly what cavities are and why they should be avoided, getting your child to brush his or her teeth can be difficult. Some things that can get your child to brush more often with less fuss include:
Different toothpaste and toothbrush: Young children can find the strong peppermint taste in most kinds of adult toothpaste to be extremely strong and overwhelming. Fortunately, there are other flavors of toothpaste out there, including unflavored toothpaste. You may have to experiment to find a variety that your child doesn't hate, but consider it an investment in having fewer cavities to deal with in the future. Similarly, let your child pick out his or her toothbrush instead of picking one out for him. It may be silly to you to have a toothbrush with a cartoon character on it, but this may be just what your child needs as encouragement to start brushing his or her teeth.
Enlist another authority figure: Children will sometimes listen to the advice of an outside authority figure before they listen to their parents. Next time you have an appointment with your child's pediatric dentist, ask him or her to show your child how he or she brushes his or her own teeth. If your child isn't convinced by his or her pediatric dentist, ask a family member or a friend that your child admires to come over and brush their teeth while in your home to demonstrate proper dental care.
Reward chart: Every time that your child brushes his or her teeth without a fuss, he or she is allowed to put a sticker on a calendar to show that he or she did this task. The calendar full of colorful stickers can be a reward in itself, or you can allow your child to trade in these stickers for small rewards. For instance, after a week of brushing, they can have a new bouncy ball or a small stuffed toy. As your child grows older, you can slowly eliminate the reward system, and he or she should still continue to brush his or her teeth.
Contact a dental office like South Shore Smiles for more information and assistance.