Hey, parents, do you usually have to remind your kids to brush their teeth?
We’re seeing several hands go up.
Hey, kids, do you generally have to be reminded to brush?
More hands going up. Exactly what we thought!
Brushing twice a day is the healthy way to go, but so is eating broccoli, and we know where that falls on the fun list. If parents and kids want to keep their chompers around until well in adulthood, we all need to brush at least twice a day.
Teeth-brushing is a skill, just like tying your shoes or learning how to ride a bike. Helping your child get into the habit of brushing twice a day for two minutes isn’t easy, but according to a page on the American Dental Association’s MouthHealthy website, the following creative approaches can go a long way toward ensuring your kids’ long-term dental health.
Have four minutes of fun: Don’t just set a timer and supervise ― make brushing twice a day for two minutes an event. Turn up your child’s favorite song. Or try reading a two-minute story using all your best voices.
Start a routine and stick to it: You might be tempted to let your child skip brushing after a long day or when your normal schedule is off (like vacations), but keep at it. The more second nature brushing becomes, the easier it will be to make sure your child is brushing twice a day.
Reward good brushing behavior: What motivates your kids? If it’s stickers, make a reward chart and let them add a sticker every time they brush. If they like to read, let them select a bedtime story. Or maybe it’s as simple as asking to see that healthy smile, saying: “I’m so proud of you” and following with a high-five.
Characters count: Which character can your child not get enough of? Many children’s shows and books, including Sesame Street, have stories about brushing. Watch and read them together, so when it’s time to brush, you can use that character as a good example.
Make brushing a family affair: Your children learn from you, so set a good example. The family that brushes together has even more reason to smile.
TSL Team Contributions
This blog is for parents and educators to learn more about our organization. It's also the space where we share information of interest to parents.