From a North London dentist through to an Irish one, every professional will tell you the same thing: Brushing your teeth is important.
As parents, it’s our job and responsibility to ensure that our children find caring for their oral health as fun as possible to help them build the skills and routines that they’ll keep with them for the rest of their lives. Mitigating fear and anxiety and replacing it with fun and optimism ultimately makes encouraging our children so much easier and we’ve pulled together some of the best ways to do just that.
Use videos or songs as timers
As well as teaching our children the most effective ways to brush our teeth, implementing the two minute rule from a young age will do wonders for routines as they grow older. One of the best ways to do this and make brushing fun all at the same time is to use videos or music. It can be difficult to keep children focused on brushing their teeth for two minutes at a time, so having them watch a tooth brushing video for two minutes can guide them through brushing their teeth, and all for the right amount of time. As boring as an educational tooth brushing video might sound, there are plenty out there that make the whole ordeal far more fun than it sounds.
Buy an electric toothbrush
An electric toothbrush is ideal for children over the age of three and not just because they can be pretty fun to use. A lot of electric toothbrushes for kids will come with lights and music and other things to make brushing more fun, but there is a practical use to these brushes too. An electric toothbrush takes much less movement and dexterity to use, making it perfect for young children who might not be able to reach every party of their mouth as effectively as it might actually require.
Start a routine and stick to it
You’ve probably heard this a lot throughout your child’s life. Routines seem to be the go to answer to every issue of growing up, but the truth is, it works, especially with teeth brushing. Sticking to routine no matter how awkward it might be if you’re on holiday or in a rush, will make teeth brushing become second nature to your child, which will follow them through to adult life.
Take your child shopping!
Let your child pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste. If it’s one with a character on it, then so be it, they’re more likely to get excited about using something that they picked out themselves than something just picked up on a weekly shop. If the mint taste is a problem for your child, consider offering them some of the flavoured options. Some good toothpaste brands have toothpaste with either a milder mint taste or an alternate taste altogether, so shop around!
Brush your teeth together
Ultimately, brushing your teeth together is the most effective way of ensuring that both you and your child brush for long enough, and properly. If you’re keeping an eye on your child you’ll be thinking about your own brushing techniques too, and will brush your teeth for long enough. We can all slack a little sometimes, but spending these minutes with your child will do wonders for both of your oral health habits, as well as for your parent-child relationship!