Encourage Your Child to Brush His Teeth with These Tips from Our Concord Dentist
Since most children struggle with long-term thinking, convincing them to brush their teeth can sometimes be an uphill battle. Below are some tips from our Concord pediatric dentist that can help convince your child that tooth brushing is a fun, rewarding, daily activity that can keep them healthy, pain-free, and safe!
Introduce a New Toothbrush
From a child’s perspective, a new toothbrush is like an exciting new toy which they can’t wait to try out. You can surprise them with a new brush featuring their favorite TV or movie character, or simply opt for a new color. Some children feel more invested if they get to select the toothbrush themselves at the store. If you’re really struggling to make tooth brushing a habit, you might make getting a new toothbrush a fun new ritual each month – even if it’s not completely necessary.
You may also find that having a few different toothbrushes on rotation helps to hold your child’s interest in the activity. Getting to select which toothbrush to use each night can make the tooth brushing experience more fun.
Use Flavored Toothpaste
Most adults are used to the taste of minty toothpaste, but children are more sensitive to strong flavors and may dislike it. Luckily, toothpastes are available in all sorts of fun flavors, from chocolate, to marshmallow, to strawberry, and even bacon. Spend some time browsing around the internet for a fun new flavor, and try different ones until you find a match. If your tot simply hates every flavor you bring home, brushing without toothpaste altogether is better than nothing at all.
Create a Reward System
We have already mentioned in the introduction that children are simply not incentivized by the distant threat of cavities, or the long-term rewards of good oral health. They are much more motivated by immediate, short-term rewards, like stickers. You might consider providing a bigger reward once a certain goal has been met.
If you ever get too frustrated, remember that while you have been brushing your teeth for years, for your child, it’s a totally new experience. As long as you maintain your patience and avoid making tooth brushing a punishment, even the most stubborn child should be able to make brushing part of a normal routine, just as you did. Keep calm and optimistic, and when in doubt, speak to our Concord pediatric dentist for more personalized help!
Afton Pediatric Dentistry is a Concord children’s dentist specializing in cavity fillings, fluoride treatments, dental exams, dental sealants, and more. To schedule an appointment, please click here.