Tips for getting your child to brush his or her teeth

Two smiling children brushing their teeth.

Let’s face it, most children don’t want to brush their teeth, just like they don’t want to pick up their toys or take a bath. It can become a daily fight to get your children to brush their teeth, disrupting everyone’s morning and evening routines. If you’re having a hard time getting your little guy or girl to brush his or her teeth without having to ask numerous times, and if you’re worried ab¬out his or her oral health, you’re not alone! Here are a few tips from Dr. Gallagher at Overland Park Family Dental in Kansas that can help you get your child more interested in brushing:

Make teeth brushing more fun with a cool toothbrush

A cool toothbrush (one with their favorite cartoon character on it, one that lights up, or one that is electric) might get your children excited about brushing. There are plenty of toothbrushes on the market that are designed for this exact purpose. Take your children to the store with you and let them pick out the toothbrush that appeals to them. They might even be excited to get home and try it out!

Make a game out of teeth brushing

Remember what Marry Poppins said? “In every job that must be done there is an element of fun. Find the fun and *snap*, the job’s a game!” Just add a small element of fun and teeth brushing can seem exciting! See which child can make the most bubbles in their mouth, or check to see who has the best breath. Even a reward system (who brushed his or her teeth without having to be asked) can make teeth brushing seem fun. Give them an incentive to brush and eventually it will become a habit.

Brush your teeth with your kids

Lead by example. Show your children that you brush your teeth because you care about your oral health. They will likely be encouraged to copy what you’re doing.

Music makes everything more fun, so why not make up a song?

Singing increases the fun level of brushing and reinforces routine. It also gives your child a set time for how long he or she needs to brush. Remember, in the beginning we are just trying to get them used to the act of brushing so maybe start out with songs like “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and gradually add more time on to their brushing. You can always lengthen the required amount of brushing time as they get older. Teaching your children how to take care of their teeth is an important part of helping them care for their overall health. Cavities and tooth or gum infections can lead to more serious health problems if ignored. If you establish a routine of brushing early on, you can set your child up for a lifetime of healthy smiles! Also, if you’re not sure when to bring your child in for his or her first checkup, it might be sooner than you think! Call Overland Park Family Dental today to see if your child is ready for his or her first appointment. We would love to meet them!