Dad in white t-shirt smiles as he brushes his teeth next to his daughter at the bathroom sink

3 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Brush Their Teeth Longer

June 14, 2022 2:54 am

Is your child going through a phase where they just do not want to take care of their teeth? It’s a common problem and an important one to solve, as keeping up with oral hygiene at home and preventive care at the dentist is crucial for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. We have outlined a few ideas that can help encourage your child to brush regularly.

  1. Give Your Child Reasonable Choices
  2. Children like to have a sense of control when it comes to making decisions about their routines and daily habits. Since taking care of their teeth is non-negotiable, avoid saying, “Are you ready to brush your teeth?” Instead, we recommend giving them different options when it comes to the color of their toothbrush, the flavor of their toothpaste, or perhaps the sink they brush at. Having a choice between a red or blue toothbrush and mint or bubblegum flavored toothpaste can make a huge difference in how your child approaches their oral health habits.

  3. Make Toothbrushing a Group Activity
  4. Kids are greatly influenced by their parents and other adults in their lives, so one of the best ways to instill healthy habits is by modeling them for your child. Brushing your teeth together serves as a bonding activity and a way to encourage your child to keep their teeth healthy and clean. Setting a timer for two minutes will help everyone brush their teeth for the correct amount of time, as many adults also struggle with spending enough time cleaning their teeth. This simple change can help make brushing feel less like a chore and more like a fun group activity!

  5. Have Fun!
  6. Spending two minutes brushing their teeth in silence can feel like forever to a child. We recommend switching things up and putting on a fun song! Some electric toothbrushes even play music. Your child may prefer to watch a video or play a game while brushing their teeth. For example, ask them to try counting how many blue objects are in the bathroom or try standing in different poses. Providing fun distractions can help the time fly by as your child cleans their teeth.

Encourage your child to also brush their tongue every day and to floss daily. If they continue to struggle with routinely brushing their teeth for a full two minutes twice a day, our team would be happy to discuss additional ideas with you at their next dental visit! Please contact us to schedule an appointment at Tots to Teens Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics.

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