Brushing your child’s teeth can be a bit of a battle at times. First of all, I would recommend brushing their teeth for them until they are at least 7 or 8 years old. They do not have the dexterity to do it properly themselves until around this age. Of course, they can have a go after you, as long as you’ve done the first thorough brush.
I would always recommend making tooth brushing a fun experience and trying to not drag it out which can make it a chore. It doesn’t always have to be in the bathroom, perhaps instead of the backwards and forwards battle of trying to get your little one to brush their teeth in the bathroom when they don’t want to, bring the tooth brush to them, don’t make much of a fuss about it. Make it quick and as thorough as possible then let them have a play with the brush afterwards and then spit out into a cup.
Here are a few tips that you could use to try to make tooth brushing a little more fun:
Buy a separate tooth brush for your child for them to use whilst you are brushing their teeth. They can use their separate brush to brush their favourite teddys teeth as a distraction while you brush theirs.
Sticker or stamp charts. Set up a simple Monday – Sunday tooth brushing chart and place a sticker/stamp on the corresponding day each time they brush their teeth (each day should have a morning sticker and a night time sticker if they’ve brushed their teeth), then, at the end of the week if all days contain stickers then offer a reward. A reward could be taking them to their favourite park, or cooking them their favourite meal for dinner, anything really, that’s just naming a few!
There are a couple of tooth-brushing apps that are available and free, these can help for older kids. These apps encourage children to keep brushing for two minutes. A couple I am familiar with are:
The Colgate Brushing Adventure app
Brush Teeth with the Wiggles app
Sometimes children really don’t like the taste of tooth paste. This is a tricky one. Most fluoride toothpastes available on the market are mint flavoured. The reason for this is that years ago, when they made ‘bubblegum’ and ‘berry’ flavoured toothpastes, children really liked the flavours which encouraged them to swallow it. You don’t want your child swallowing fluoride toothpastes so keeping it to mint was the best option for this hence why most brands only offer mint flavoured pastes. You could however shop around and look for tooth paste in ‘gel’ form which may seem more appealing to little ones such as Colgate Minions Cavity Protect Sparkling Mint Gel for children.
If you have any questions or concerns in regards to your mouth or oral health, feel free to give us a call on 08 9321 6928, we are always happy to help!