Motivating Kids to Care for Their Teeth

We can teach children how to brush their teeth, but convincing them to do it is another story.  We talk to people all of the time who are just tired and worn out from battling their kids about brushing their teeth.  To help you out, here are 5 practical tips for winning the war:

Monkey see, monkey do.

Lead by example.  Kids are always copying what their parents do.  Show your kids consistency in your own oral health habits and they’ll follow suit.  Even more, show them that you are proud of your smile and take pride in keeping it healthy and they’ll do the same.

Let them pick their poison.

Make a special trip to the store for your little one to select their very own toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, and mouthwash.  Put extra emphasis on it being completely theirs.  They’ll enjoy the fact that they have something that no one else can use.

Put a little fun into it.

Make up a song or game  to go along with their brushing and flossing routine.  By infusing energy, laughter, and play into the process, they’ll learn to associate brushing with a fun time.

Teach them why.

Instead of only teaching children how to brush, teach them why they should brush.  Put it in children’s terms and tell them that they have to brush away the “sugar bugs” before they attack their teeth and make them dirty. There’s even plaque-revealing mouthwash to show them exactly where the “sugar bugs” are.

Role reversal.

They say you’re an expert in a subject once you can teach it.  Let your child teach YOU how to brush, or have them pretend with their stuffed animal.  If they can teach it well, then they’ve learned it well.

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