Child brushing teethAs parents, we know that teaching our children good habits is an ongoing process, and getting them to stick to anything besides video games can be challenging.  We also know that some habits are so important to their health that we’ve got to press on, even when they fight us.  Brushing regularly is one of those important habits.  If you’ve had trouble getting your child to brush, here are a few tips that should help.

  • Be enthusiastic about brushing!  When mom and dad are excited, and making a big deal about taking care of their teeth, the kids won’t want to miss out.
  • Brush alongside them at the bathroom sink and let them watch you from an early age.
  • Buy fun and colorful brushes.  There are toothbrushes for just about every popular cartoon character out there, or even some that flash and light up for two minutes (also a great way to train them to brush long enough).
  • To make sure they’re brushing long enough, you can even download apps that play catchy songs and gives them tips on brushing thoroughly.
  • Sing a brushing song!  Make it feel like a game for them.
  • When they’re being reluctant, be clear and direct by telling them, ‘I want you to brush your teeth now, please,’ or ‘Teeth please!’  Reminders are better than questions that invite a “no” or “I don’t want to.”
  • Get them involved in the process.  Have them carry out the simpler tasks, like putting the toothpaste on the brush, and lay on the praise!
  • Make sure your child is brushing twice a day. The morning brush can be either before or after breakfast, but brushing should always be the last thing before bed. This helps develop a routine where brushing is part of getting ready for bed.

Following these tips can help create a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums for your child.  If you have more questions about your child’s brushing habits, talk to your Phoenix dentist today!