28 Jul How to help children enjoy brushing teeth
Getting your children to enjoy taking care of their teeth is not an easy task since most
parents don’t find taking care of their teeth enjoyable either. Let’s be honest, how often do
you jump for joy at the idea of brushing and flossing your teeth?
So, parents need to be honest with their children when they are trying to get them to
develop effective hygiene habits. Tell them that you brush and floss your teeth because you
don’t want to get a shot in your gums and have your teeth drilled on. It’s not like you are
trying to scare them, though it is pretty horrific. It is just the truth.
I told my daughter the truth, “Take good care of your teeth because if you don’t, your dentist
appointments will not be fun, and they will continue to get worse and worse as you get
I also offer her some incentives. If she brushes and flosses her teeth every night without
incident, I treat her to a trip to the bookstore or clothing store. If she has no cavities at her
checkups, we go to Jamba Juice afterwards, and I treat her to a smoothie. It works.
The Dental Association says, for children younger than 3 years, parents need to begin
brushing their children’s teeth as soon as they begin to come into the mouth. Twice a day
(morning and night) or as directed by a dentist or physician. That way, brushing, and
flossing will become a way of life for them and a good habit. I watched my daughter’s
brushing to ensure that she used the appropriate amount of toothpaste until she was
comfortable on her own.
Brushing and flossing their teeth keeps the gums and teeth healthy, free of plaque, and food
particles lodged between the teeth. It is a vital part of your children’s dental hygiene every
SET BRUSHING TEETH TIME
Parents can start by setting a time where your toddler brushes their teeth, and you floss
your child’s teeth every day. In the mornings, brushing is only recommended. At night
before going to bed is the best time. Make sure the child understands brushing and flossing
time and the rewards of having healthy teeth.
Stay patient. If the child fights flossing, you need to start earlier in the evening when she is
not so tired. Encouragement and praise are the keywords, not frustration and force.
I noticed as my daughter got older she had more of an understanding as to why she needed
to brush and floss her teeth. But, when we first started out, she needed a lot of
encouragement and help with her oral hygiene.
In the long run, starting good habits with your children when they are toddlers pays back in
dividends. Still, continue to encourage them and praise them in their older years because
you can never say too many nice things to your children.
About the author
Kenna McHugh is a mother, a writer, educational and career consultant. Her writing credits
include the career book, BREAKING INTO FILM, three screenplays, seven produced plays
and numerous articles on subjects that range from documentary filmmaking to film careers.
Kenna is a contributor to KACHY TV Blog and she’s also active at
http://hubpages.com/@kenna-mchugh. He enjoys working with children, helping them
learn how create positive effects in life