When our dental hygienist Judy asks our children patients if they’ve been brushing and flossing lately, we’ve come to expect the same answer- a resounding “YES!” shouted back at her regardless of circumstance. Kids don’t know that Judy has a secret power- she can tell whether or not they’re telling the truth. As parents, we understand that engaging your children in dental hygiene rituals can often feel like pulling teeth- so we’ve assembled a quick list of four ways to get your children excited about brushing!
Having a difficult time convincing your child that plaque, cavities, and crooked dentition can occur if they don’t brush their teeth regularly? Do the latest dental trends, data, and reports simply not interest them? (Do they really interest anyone other than us?) Trying telling them a story- and make them the hero in it. Brushing their teeth stops being a chore when it becomes a valiant quest to vanquish cavity monsters and sugar beasts! Need a boost? Fashion a towel into a very heroic cape! Just make sure they don’t brush TOO excitedly and damage their gums!
Like hot potato or musical chairs- sometimes a little bit of music is to get kids excited about brushing! Find a favorite song of theirs that’s around 2 minutes in length- and have them brush the whole time its playing! To have a little more fun, pause the song at various intervals- and everyone has to freeze! Your kids will be looking forward to their twice-a-day bathroom dance party in no time!
Does your child like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? What about Spider-Man? Definitely Elsa from Frozen, then, right? Well, if any of those are the case, it’s time to let it go and get some themed tooth brushes and toothpastes that will have them breaking down the bathroom door to hang with their heroes!
While our least favorite suggestion, sometimes all it takes to get kids excited about brushing is a little tangible motivation. Reward your kids for every successful round they go. Whether it’s a star on a calendar, an extra cookie in their lunch box, or 5 more minutes of TV before bedtime, sometimes bribery works best.