Getting children to brush their teeth properly is hard. But with nearly a third of children starting school showing signs of dental decay, encouraging good teeth brushing techniques is more important than ever.
1. Make brushing fun
Does your child like dressing up? Why not suggest your child pretends to be a dentist? Taking the time to play teeth-brushing games on a favourite teddy or doll makes brushing fun and helps reinforce good brushing habits. Did Teddy reach right to the very back? Well done!
2. Reward proper brushing technique
Most children love rewards! Star charts and stickers are firm favourites can be a real visual incentive for a child, but the promise of a game or an extra story could be an incentive too. What about setting a weekly goal?
3. Let your child choose their own toothbrush
There are a myriad of brightly coloured and themed toothbrushes for children on the market, from inexpensive disposables to electric toothbrushes with their own customisable stickers. Letting your child choose their very own toothbrush is an easy way of letting your child take control and have fun with their tooth-brushing routine.
4. Use disclosing tablets
Disclosing tablets – which temporarily stain plaque so you can see where you’ve missed – are a very obvious guide for adults and children alike. As long as your child is old enough to spit and rinse independently, use them often to highlight those hard-to-reach spots.
5. Brush for the right length of time
Two minutes, twice a day is the magic formula for tooth brushing. Electric toothbrushes usually have built-in timers – perfect for reminding a child that faster doesn’t necessarily mean better! You could use sand timers, clocks or the stopwatch setting on your phone too. Remember, most adults don’t brush their teeth for the right amount of time, so building this habit from an early age will help set them up for life.
6. Lead by example
If your child sees you take time over your tooth brushing, they’ll start to absorb your habits into their daily routine. Even if you brush your teeth again when you go to bed, it’s a great way of encouraging your child to brush thoroughly, and systematically. Can you inspect your child’s teeth if they inspect yours? That’s what we call teamwork!
7. Be creative
The morning and evening routine with young children can be demanding, but encouraging good brushing habits in your children will act as a foundation for how they look after their teeth as an adult. Be creative – you know your child best. Mix up these suggestions and make up some of your own – and always supervise their brushing.
Don’t forget to take your child to the dentist regularly for a check-up. Call the Practice now on 01460 61671 for an appointment.Previous