Tricks That Get Stubborn Kids to Brush Their Teeth Well
By Anita Ginsburg
As a parent or guardian, you may face the regular issue of a child who does not wish to brush their teeth regularly. A stubborn child who is not willing to brush their teeth can cause a lot of stress and unhappiness as you face daily battles over brushing and flossing. Dentists recommend you should start the process of brushing at the first sign of teeth breaking through the gums, but a stubborn child will often make life difficult for you.
Make It Four Minutes of Family Fun
The American Dental Association reports that brushing should be four minutes of family fun undertaken each day. You may feel unhappy when a stubborn child refuses to brush their teeth, but engaging in a battle may not help the situation.
Instead, get all the family together for two minutes of brushing in the morning and a further two minutes in the evening. By bringing all the family together you will make the brushing process enjoyable enough for even the most stubborn child to join in with. You can make it fun for your children by playing music or videos.
Go Shopping With Your Child
A stubborn child who doesn’t like brushing their teeth may be more willing to brush if they’re a part of the process. You can help them take ownership of their routine by taking them to the store and giving them the opportunity to choose their own toothbrush and toothpaste. This will make them feel they are now handling their dental hygiene and feel better about their experiences.
Track Progress With a Chart
Children love to see their hard work tracked and rewarded at regular intervals. When you are looking to help your child to improve their dental hygiene you may find yourself achieving more when you use a chart positioned above a sink to track the progress of your child brushing their teeth. Rewards are another good idea if a child reaches a certain number of days brushing their teeth twice per day.
Get Their Dentist’s Help
Your child should be visiting the dentist regularly. If you are struggling to reach your goals with a stubborn child who does not want to brush their teeth, it is a good idea to get some help from their dentist.
Sometimes kids are more willing to listen to a professional than their parents. If their dentist tells them they need to brush their teeth better and more often, they may take the instruction more seriously than they do from you. Then, after the appointment, you can reinforce the dentist’s words by reestablishing routines and incentives for following those routines.
There are many tips and tricks you can try with your child to inspire them to brush their teeth each day and enjoy a better standard of oral hygiene. Try some of these if you have a stubborn child who doesn’t like brushing their teeth.
More About the Author
Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University and now writes articles about health, business, family, and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg
*Photos courtesy of Anita Ginsburg