Parents with younger children have likely experienced some form of nightmare when trying to get their children to brush their teeth. Instilling these habits in your children can be a real challenge but is something parents must endure for the sake of their child’s oral health in the long-term. As children tend to struggle with brushing at home, their visits to the dentist office are also often just as miserable. How can instilling these habits be made an easier goal for parents to achieve? This post should detail a couple of the ways in which parents can help their children improve their brushing. 

A wide variety of methods is encouraged rather than going all in on one method. The worst thing a parent can do is forcibly make a child brush as they glare over their shoulder for two minutes. This might get the job done, but it certainly won’t help the child grow more willing to brush on their own. This is why most dentists will suggest entertaining your child as they brush or finding a way in which brushing can entertain your child. For some children, this can be as simple as a toothbrush that plays a tune while they brush. For others, perhaps new and innovative interactive brushing mobile applications with popular cartoon or movie characters are more suitable. 

Sometimes children won’t be easily coaxed with these methods. It might require a bit more involvement from the parents if that’s the case. Making brushing teeth a family activity is often one way that parents can convince their children to brush. Children will have a much easier time with brushing alongside their parents than alone. Parents can then positively reinforce their children as they’re brushing alongside them to further engrain the habit. Reflecting the feelings you have for them brushing on to them will also have a great impact.

The most important things parents should consider throughout this process is when they should actually begin trying to have children brush on their own. The longer parents wait to instill these habits, the less likely they are to ever stick. As children grow older, the more comfortable they will become with neglecting the routine. Which is why it’s imperative for parents to begin allowing children to brush on their own the moment a child indicates they’re capable of handling the toothbrush themselves. Without a dependency on the parent, the child can begin engraining the routine into their brain. 

If all else fails, fear is also an incredible motivator. Children with poor oral hygiene will have the toughest visits to the dentist as they’ll likely have multiple cavities that require fillings. If your children fear the shiny tools that conduct this work, it might be worth noting that the more they brush, the less likely they are to have harsh work done to their teeth. Dentists are also excellent resources for children in regards to instilling these habits, so consult the professionals when possible. For more information on the most effective methods to keep your children brushing regularly, be sure to check out the infographic coupled alongside this post. Courtesy of Sycamore Hills Dentistry.