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Maybe as an adult you don’t care about princesses or Spongebob, but those characters can really make a difference to you kids! Getting your child a fun toothbrush or, better yet, having them choose their own toothbrush, can make brushing seem like a fun activity. Toothbrushes these days come in all sorts of fun patterns, and some even have music and lights! A fun toothbrush sets the stage for a positive experience.
A toothbrush is a toothbrush-right? Actually, toothbrushes for kids are specially designed to have smaller heads and softer bristles. A child’s mouth is smaller than an adult’s, and too large of a brush could make brushing uncomfortable or even painful. Get the right size brush and your child may not be as resistant to brushing. Along with the size, the stiffness of the bristles matter. Kid’s gums can be sensitive, so choose soft bristles to make sure that their brush isn’t irritating or painful. Make sure to also replace your child’s brush at least every 3 to 4 months, or sooner if it is getting worn.
Kids may not like to brush their teeth for a very simple reason: they hate the toothpaste. If your child is complaining about their toothpaste, there are many options available today. From mint to bubblegum to strawberry, you should be able to find a variety of toothpaste flavors that your child enjoys. For very young children, brushing without toothpaste at all is better than not brushing at all. Experiment with some different brands and flavors and find a combination that motivates your child to brush their teeth.
Music can make everything better, and brushing your teeth is no exception! If you are wanting to turn brushing into a fun activity, turning on some upbeat music is a great start. You can also use music as a timer for how long your child should be brushing. Twice a day they should be spending 2 minutes getting their teeth clean; your child should especially focus on the back teeth where plaque can build up. Using music that is set for 2 minutes can give your child a tangible way to know they have brushed enough, and hopefully have fun doing it!
If your child never sees you brushing your teeth, they will not be motivated to brush their own. Be a good example of dental hygiene to your child, and let them see that brushing teeth is important to adults as well. Maybe you can brush together, and turn this once dreaded activity into family fun.
It’s no secret that kids love games, and if you turn brushing their teeth into a game, they are sure to like it more! Whether you are pretending to brush away the monsters attacking their teeth, or pretending to scrub the pots and pans in their mouth, a game will make the time pass more quickly. If your child is really into a certain character, movie or game, incorporating elements of their favorite stories can really motivate them.
Not necessarily with money, but saving a special bedtime story for after they have brushed may be the motivation they need. If brushing is the very last task of the day before bed, it may be harder to get your child to participate. Brush before they are completely exhausted, and save your last fun story or snuggle time for a reward.
Getting your child started early with good dental care is extremely important, and they will definitely thank you when they have healthy teeth as adults! Along with regular brushing, you should take your child to regular dentist appointments to make sure they are on the right track with their dental hygiene. Meadowbrook Dental Care in Mineola would love to be the dentist you trust with all of your family’s dental needs-call us today!
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