Tricks To Get Children To Brush Their Teeth
The number of British children with poor dental hygiene is getting out of control, with figures showing 90 per cent of tooth extractions in youngsters under five are due to tooth decay. Therefore, it is imperative to encourage good oral hygiene at a young age.
However, even with the best intentions and regular check-ups at your dental practice in Guildford, many parents face daily battles with their kids when it comes to teeth brushing.
Here are some ideas to help you get even the most stubborn child to brush their teeth.
1) Play their favourite song
Many mums and dads with children who hate brushing their teeth are likely to have already tried setting a timer. However, they might have lost interest in this after a while – even ones with their favourite character on.
Instead, why not make tooth brushing a fun way to start or end the day by playing songs they love? Two or three minutes of a Disney tune will lift their spirits and, if they know they will get to listen to it at tooth-brushing time, they are likely to be a lot more amenable to the whole experience.
Make sure you are clear with this routine though, and do not continue to play the song if they become difficult in letting you brush their teeth.
2) Encourage independence
It can feel counterproductive to let your one or two-year-old brush their own teeth, as they are unlikely to do as good a job as you. However, toddlers crave independence and want to show you their ‘big kid’ skills. Therefore, it can be advantageous to let them have a turn brushing their own teeth if they want this.
You can always make a rule that you will have a go as well, so you can get at the stubborn areas, but it will let them feel a bit more independent and will teach them good skills in teeth brushing as they get older. While they are not going to be perfect when they are still very young, they can only get better by practising anyway!
3) Buy new supplies
Many children can have a complete change of heart about something if they are allowed to assert their own opinion on how it is done. So while you might have a youngster who refuses to let a toothbrush near him or her, they might just want some control over the situation.
Give them this by taking them to a shop and letting them choose their own toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. They will probably go for one with their favourite character on, but if this gets them enthusiastic about oral hygiene, just accept you might have to purchase a certain type of toothpaste for a few years!
Though it might feel like you have to play a game with children to get them to do a simple task like tooth brushing, if it can help them avoid having a tooth removed – with almost 60,000 tooth extractions occurring between 2017 and 2018 – it will be well worth the effort.