How Do You Make Brushing Fun For Kids?
Training your little one to brush their teeth can be a bona fide jaw clinching challenge (for everyone!). We recommend that kids begin learning to clean their teeth by the age of 2. However, on average, they will be closer to 7 before the task is mastered. If brushing brings defiance and a struggle, there are a few things to consider while creating your game plan.
Be a good role model.
Set a positive example by showing them how much fun it can be to brush and floss your teeth. Explain the steps and how they make your smile so bright and your breath so fresh. Brush next to them and demonstrate proper technique but don’t insist on perfection.
Let them choose.
Encourage their natural independence and avoid power struggles by letting them pick out their toothbrush and toothpaste. Ask your child if they want to start at the top or the bottom, front or back giving them enthusiastic encouragement as they show you their skill!
Listen and watch for signs of sensitivity.
Tender gums, sound reactivity, a new tooth or even too much toothpaste could cause discomfort. Making adjustments to these issues early on can get your little one back on the path to a positive experience.
No scare tactics.
Young children aren’t quite ready for the concept of the long term ramifications of poor dental hygiene. Be careful not to put a visit to the dentist in a negative light. If you explain brushing and flossing as a way to avoid the dentist, it may cause anxiety at their next appointment.
Take advantage of the multitude of fabulous books and apps available. Of course, we encourage parents to view and read each in their entirety before sharing with their little adventurers. We warn you, they’re addictive!
Brush, Brush, Brush by Alicia Padron
Brush Your Teeth, Please by Leslie McGuire
Never Rush – Always Brush! by Sigal Adler
Most importantly, be realistic. Good habits come from practice and consistency. Help them develop a routine of brushing twice daily, and it will set them up for a lifetime. To help your little one be more at ease about visiting us at Fenton Family Dentistry, take a moment to read about the adventures of Maddie the Molar!