- Make them feel empowered by giving them choices. We’re not suggesting that you let them choose whether or not they want to brush — we’re talking about letting them choose their toothbrush and toothpaste. Marketing companies know exactly what kids like, which is why it should be a breeze to find the perfect Princess, Minion, Angry Bird, or Car that will get your little one excited about brushing. The same goes for toothpaste. You might LOVE the tingling sensation of mint, but your child might find the flavor overwhelming. If you allow them to select a child-friendly flavor, such as bubblegum or fruit punch, they’re more likely to actually use it.
- Model the behavior. It’s hard to convince your child that it’s important to brush and floss if they don’t see you doing the same. If you make your morning and evening dental routine a family affair, it just might become something your kids look forward to every day. Afterall, you don’t have to take your children on elaborate adventures in order to create wonderful memories.
- Start early. It may seem silly to brush baby teeth since they eventually fall out, but trust us, it’s an absolute necessity. Baby teeth guide adult teeth into position; if they’ve been removed, the adult teeth are more likely to be misaligned when they come in. Additionally, the earlier you start brushing, the more likely it is to become a routine instead of a chore. The American Dental Association recommends bringing your little on in for their first dental visit as soon as their first tooth erupts; this will ensure that they are developmentally on track and that their tooth is positioned as it should be. This very first tooth, as tiny as it may be, is also deserving of a daily brushing; be sure to use an ultra-soft baby toothbrush for the first few teeth.
It’s hard enough to stick to your own dental health routine, let alone convince your kids that they should look forward to it. They’d rather do almost anything — roll around on the floor, run around the house without pants, get gum stuck in their hair — than brush their teeth. Luckily, the team at Michelle Munoz, DDS have a few tricks that just might get your kids on board.