Getting your kids to brush their teeth often feels like pulling teeth (pun intended), but there are a few ways to entice them to get the job done right. Here are five cool ways to get your kids excited about brushing their teeth without driving yourself mad.
#1 – Reward Them for Brushing
Create a simple chart for your kids and hang it in the bathroom for a reward system. To do it, put each child’s name across the top of the page and each day of the week down the side, then divide each “box” created in half – one for morning and one for evening. Give each child his or her own special sticker to place on the chart every time he or she brushes correctly, and at the end of the week, give your child a treat. You might take them out to see a movie or even buy them an ice cream cone. (Just make sure they brush afterward!)
#2 – Get Them Toothbrushes Ideal for Their Sizes
Kids are small, so it doesn’t make much sense to expect them to use a toothbrush meant for a full-sized adult. In fact, doing so could compromise your child’s ability to brush properly since the head of the brush may not fit well enough on each the sides of his or her back teeth. Instead, look for toothbrushes specifically designed for children. The lighter they are – and the softer the bristles – the better and consider buying a bamboo kids’ toothbrush to help do your part to keep unnecessary plastic out of landfills.
#3 – Set a Cool Kitchen Timer
While you could spend a small fortune on a toothbrush that has a built-in timer or one that plays music in order to make sure your child brushes long enough, there are alternatives that are much better for your wallet and the environment. A kitchen timer can serve double-duty, and your kids (especially the youngest ones) will absolutely love setting the timer before they get started brushing. It’s amazing what a $5 kitchen timer that looks like a cat can do to help your kids get their full two minutes of brushing in.
#4 – Play a Favorite Song
Another option involves finding one of your kids’ favorite songs that lasts right at two minutes and using this for a timer. Just be sure your playlist consists of more than one song, and make sure that it isn’t too short or too long. You can use free apps for Android and iPhone to trim the song to the perfect length or play it in a loop, so that means even Baby Shark is an option. Just start the song, let your kids bop while they brush, and they can stop when the song ends. It’s easy and effective.
#5 – Talk to Them about Oral Care and Strong Teeth
As your kids get older, the novelty of these tactics will start to wear off, and you might find it more difficult to get your kids to brush as they should. At this point, you will need to remind your kids about the importance of good oral health. Hopefully, by the time your kids reach the age that timers, songs, and reward charts no longer motivate them, they have already developed good brushing and flossing habits.
If you’ve struggled with getting your kids to brush their teeth, or if you have a toddler who is ready to start forming healthy brushing habits, try the tips and tricks above. Though they may seem simple, kids will love them, and rather than complaining about brushing, they’ll be excited about it, instead.