It’s time to brush your child’s teeth. They’re running around the house as you chase behind them, toothbrush in hand. You finally catch up to them and get them to “say cheese”. You inch the toothbrush closer and closer to their mouth and just as you get close enough to lather those pearly whites up, you realize that you forgot to put the toothpaste on.
How do we avoid this mess and make “toothbrush time” more of a pleasurable experience for both parties? Check out these tips on how to help your child brush their teeth and enjoy doing it.
- Monkey See, Monkey Do!
Children are always watching you and love to follow in their parent’s footsteps. Make brushing your teeth something that you all do as a family!
- Consistency is key!
Make a routine. “Toothbrush Time” should happen everyday at around the same time. Eventually they’ll recognize the pattern and head in to the bathroom all by themselves.
- Brushing isn’t bad!
Explain to your kids why it’s important to brush their teeth. Try not to threaten them in to brushing their teeth but instead, let this be a teachable moment.
- Give them Options!
Give them options. Take them to the store with you and let them pick their favorite toothbrush and toothpaste! If you’d rather not bring them with you, find a toothbrush/toothpaste with their favorite cartoon character on it!
- "I can do it BY MYSELF!"
Try not to do it for them (even if it kills you on the inside). Teach them how to do it alone and do it right! This will help them get the feel for things and encourage them to be a little independent.
Another fun way to get them excited is to play a song while they brush. Normally we encourage everyone to brush for 2 minutes. So pick a song around that length of time and brush for the entire tune. This may help the time pass faster for them, yet they are still getting the job done. Have them look forward to it every time by letting them select the song!