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How Can I Encourage My Kids to Brush?

“NO!”

Despite how well behaved your child is most of the time, the word “no” seems to be among the first that most children start saying. Though it usually starts in that ‘terrible-two’ range, whenever kids start saying ‘no,’ it starts a pattern of resistance behavior that lasts through childhood, adolescence, and some would say even through most of life!

Children’s Dentistry in Elgin, IL

At High Point Family Dentistry, we know the importance of good oral hygiene habits and we like to help your kids start those good habits early. Children who brush their teeth carefully and thoroughly for 2 full minutes each time grow into adults who have strong and healthy smiles for life!

Ways to Encourage Your Kids to Brush

Telling your children about the importance of good tooth brushing isn’t usually enough to get them to do it, but the team at High Point Family Dentistry has compiled a list of ways to help encourage your kids to brush.

1. Let Them Pick Out Their Own Toothbrush & Toothpaste:

Toothbrushes come in a wide variety of fun colors and some even feature your kids’ favorite TV or movie character. There are also children’s toothpastes that come in fun flavors like cotton candy or bubble gum and ones that feature their favorite characters, like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or the characters from Frozen. By giving your little ones the option to pick the tools of brushing, you help motivate them to use them.

2. Make the Time Count:

To do a good job, the American Dental Association recommends that teeth be brushed for at least two minutes. It’s important that your children brush carefully for the whole two minutes. You can help make the time count in the following ways:

  • Rather than just setting a timer, crank up your kid’s favorite song and make an event of it! Switch things up and keep it interesting by alternating between watching a two-minute long video (for younger kids, click here for some ideas!), choosing different songs, or read a two-minute long story.
  • Lead by example! By brushing your teeth with your kids, you show them how important it is. Kids love to imitate their parents, so why not take advantage of that “monkey see, monkey do” tendency by teaching them to emulate your good oral hygiene habits!

3. Reward Good Oral Hygiene:

Turn brushing into a game and incentivize it with prizes for good behavior. Consider creating a sticker chart and add a sticker to the chart every time they brush their teeth. Or offer a prize after a month’s worth of brushing their teeth twice each day. Be careful that you don’t use sugary treats as a reward in this situation – that defeats the purpose! Try extra screen time or toys.
Even it your kids are star brushers, it’s still important that they visit us at High Point Family Dentistry twice every year. This allows us to perform professional cleanings and examinations to keep up with their growth and stay on top of any problems before they become major headaches. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment!
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