This story may sound all too familiar. It’s 6:55 pm and you’re trying to rein all of your kids in the bathroom to brush their teeth before bed. One starts crying while the other runs into another room far away from the toothbrush. You’re pleading with your youngest to hold still so you can try to brush at least some of their teeth, while your oldest is performing an experiment that involves something along the lines of squirting toothpaste all over the sink. If this is your routine, rest assured you are not alone.
Most parents strive to raise their children to be healthy confident adults, but like all long term goals, some obstacles are inevitable – especially when it comes to oral health and hygiene. Throughout early child-rearing years, you may be dealing with kids who don’t want to brush their teeth, throw a tantrum when visiting the dentist, or do everything in their power to fight their morning and bedtime routine. At myKIDSdds, we pride ourselves on creating a dental home that your little one will be excited to visit! We work to show your kiddos just how much fun oral health can be and where we can’t come home with you to help make brushing routines easier we can share a few quick tips that have worked wonderfully for the parents in our practice. We hope the following fun tips renew your energy and help your kids get excited about brushing their teeth.
1. Toothpaste and Rock ‘n’ Roll
Music has the magical ability to make unpleasant activities fun, and the act of brushing our teeth is no exception. No matter their age, kids will typically stay engaged and happy when a tune is playing. To make the process as seamless as possible, we recommend picking a 2-minute song that you wouldn’t mind listening to over and over again as you start to create a routine for your children. Below are some of our favorite 2-minute songs:
- Baby Shark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqZsoesa55w
- Fight Song (shortened): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_glhrZZS0I
- Happy (shortened): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2r0q3JmZlQ&list=RD_2r0q3JmZlQ&start_radio=1
- Yesterday: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCV9oqtwyVA&list=RDfCV9oqtwyVA&start_radio=1
Regardless of the genre of music, when it is time for your child to brush their teeth, turn up the jams and add rhythm to the routine.
2. The Power of Choice
Children are able to make personal choices at a very early age. When they are ready to start learning about basic dental hygiene, let your child participate in the process by allowing them to pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste. This decision, although seemingly small, can give your kids a sense of pride and ownership, alleviating some of the normal stress that comes with brushing their teeth.
Starting and ending the day with a toothbrush in the shape of a cherished character or designed with a pattern from a favorite movie may be just the incentive needed to create and stick with a healthy routine.
3. Sticking to the Routine
Busy days, late nights and early mornings can take a toll on parents, especially when kids are unwilling to cooperate. Although it may be tempting to give in when your kid is on minute-5 of crying about how their toothbrush feels weird, try your best to stick to the routine. To help alleviate some of the complaining and backlash, start by showing your kids how it’s done. Let them watch you brush your teeth and ask them if they want to brush theirs at the same time. Once you’ve both finished your two-minute brushing session, check their mouth for anything they missed and let them check yours. Leading by example is one of the most successful tricks in the book, after all, your kiddos want to be just like you.
Keeping strict adherence to healthy habits such as brushing and flossing will pay off in the long run; you’ll be creating young adults who stick to a regular and healthy oral routine.
4. Inspirations, Incentives, and Inventiveness
Small rewards, incentives, and positive encouragement is our go-to route when we’re struggling with kids who don’t want to brush their teeth. By no means does this grant your kids a golden ticket to the chocolate factory. Rather than rewarding your little one with treats, try a brushing chart with fun stickers, extra books at bedtime, or a special adventure after a week’s worth of consistent brushing.
Get the Support You Need
Through a commitment to education, years of valuable experience, and a love for our community, myKIDSdds is a dedicated partner in your family’s dental health. Our dentistry in Dallas, Texas is designed to be fun for your kids, making each visit more relaxing and stress-free. If you’re searching for an experienced team of dentists, orthodontists, and friendly knowledgeable team members, make a visit to myKIDSdds or contact us directly to book your first appointment.