Does ‘teeth time’ turn into ‘tantrum time’ with your toddler, or do you discover a bone dry toothbrush when your pre-teen emerges from the bathroom? Getting your child motivated about good oral health can be a challenge but it’s not impossible. Establishing a positive ethos towards good oral health early in life can have a major impact on your child’s future oral health care practices, in turn, helping them avoid the pain, discomfort and expense associated with serious dental problems later in life.
Try these simple suggestions to get your child motivated about keeping a healthy smile!
Children respond well to a predictable routine. Encouraging your child to brush and floss at the same time each day enables a healthy habit to form. It is recommended that we all brush twice a day for two minutes each time. Setting up a timer is a great idea. Reaching the 2-minute mark will give them a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
Set an example
Young children often mimic their parent’s behaviours and are readily influenced by your actions, so why not set a good example with your own oral hygiene habits? By making the time to brush and floss together, your child will be exposed to the correct techniques and will be less likely to rush through the process.
Take it in turns to brush your child’s teeth
It is recommended that we help our children brush their teeth up until the age of 9. This may seem a bit over the top, but many young children lack the attention span and the manual dexterity to brush their teeth correctly. Try letting them brush first, and finish more difficult areas yourself. This will ensure that your child’s teeth and mouth have been properly cared for.
Encourage their involvement
Kids’ toothbrushes come in a range of colours and themes, from characters to superheroes and even flashing lights. Letting your child choose one that appeals to them will generate enthusiasm towards brushing their teeth. Just be sure to select one that is the appropriate size for your child with soft bristles.
Download our brushing chart
A brushing chart can be an excellent positive reinforcement tool. Simply download and print our monthly teeth brushing chart and award a gold star or tick every time they correctly brush and floss their teeth. Offering a reward on completion of the chart will keep them motivated to continue their healthy oral habits. DOWNLOAD HERE
Ensure your children understand WHY oral health care is so important
Most kids know that it’s important to wash the germs off their hands to stop them from getting sick. In a similar manner, it is important to teach children to keep their mouth clean by regular brushing and flossing so that their teeth and gums do not get sick.
Make a dental appointment as early as possible
The Australian Dental Association recommends that your child’s first visit to the dentist should occur within six months after their first tooth appears. Try not to wait until something is wrong to organise your child’s first visit. Early dental visits not only provide an opportunity to track your child’s growth and development, they allow your child to develop a healthy association with visiting the dentist. Book an appointment instantly online.