If you find yourself fighting your kids to brush their teeth, you are not alone. Brushing can become a battle in some homes, but here are some tips we have gleaned over the years from great parents who have tackled the tooth brushing battle. Remember that if your child possesses the dexterity to tie their own shoes, they can brush their own teeth effectively.
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1. Brush your teeth at the same time with them. Some families even have everyone available in the house brush their teeth together with the child struggling to brush. You don’t have to do this every night, but it helps your child see that everyone has to brush their teeth (because often times they are asleep when mom and dad are brushing). Another reason this technique works is that up until your children can brush their teeth on their own, they brush one-on-one with the aid of a parent. Brushing alongside your child helps keep tooth brushing a time to get positive attention from their parents and siblings and reduces feelings of “abandonment”.
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2. Brush their toy’s teeth first. Using one of their stuffed animals, you can make tooth brushing fun by letting your child brush their teddy bear’s teeth and then their own. This is a really good idea if you are still brushing your child’s teeth for them and they need help calming down to let you brush for them.
3. Make funny faces in the mirror as you brush or funny brush strokes. Making brushing fun with your child will help him/her look forward to brushing every night. Of course, effectively breaking up the plaque on the surface of the teeth requires brushing in circular motions, but throwing in some alternative motions every once in a while will make brushing teeth fun.
4. Offer rewards. Rewarding your children for brushing twice a day, 7 days a week is a good way to acknowledge your child’s hard work and diligence at adopting the habit.
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Until your child’s teeth begin to touch one another, they do not need to learn to floss. However, when it becomes time for your child to do so, a great way to help them begin flossing on their own is by using kid’s flossers and adapting these 4 tips to flossing. Even though your children’s teeth are baby teeth, fixing tooth aches and cavities are expensive at any age. If you help your child get into the habit of brushing and flossing at an early age, you will avoid the cost of fixing their rotted teeth and will prepare your child to take care of their adult teeth by forming habits for lifelong oral health.
Dr. Scherschligt is a dentist in Salt Lake City . His kids can testify to the effectiveness of these techniques as they are all good tooth brushers. Toothbrushing at a young age affects early development in many ways, which is why helping your child develop strong oral hygiene will bless them throughout their lives. Call (801) 484-1032 to schedule an appointment at Platinum Dental Care in Salt Lake City or any of our other locations throughout Utah. If you are looking for a dentist in Salt Lake City or just a dentist near me, Platinum Dental Care is now accepting new patients, so give us a call today!