Sunday, November 16, 2014

How to Encourage Kids to Brush Teeth

Teaching kids good oral health will set them up with good habits and beautiful smiles that will last a lifetime. Other than not eating too much sweet stuff or drinking milk just before sleep, a big part of taking care of teeth is brushing teeth but it's not always easy to get the kids to do it. Some may see it as a chore, while others just think it's not necessary.

If you're looking for ideas, here are 5 simple ways we encourage Lil Pumpkin to brush her teeth properly:

1. Start young
It's never too early to prevent tooth decay and to take care of our teeth for life. When Lil Pumpkin was a baby, we started to clean her baby teeth with just water and a soft washcloth. Slowly, as more teeth started appearing, we started to use kiddy-flavoured toothpaste and baby toothbrushes like those from Oral-B Stages, which has a whole range designed for kids aged 4+ and up.

Since we started her young, it has become a habit and she's used to the routine of brushing her teeth day and night. Lil Pumpkin actually, looks forward to it!

2. Do it together
When it's time to brush teeth, we do it together as a family, or at least one of us will do it together with Lil Pumpkin. As a kid, she likes to imitate us and follow what we do :) When we do it together, we can also check that she is brushing properly, even those hard-to-reach areas, and as long as she should be. 

3. Make it fun
Brushing her teeth is actually part of her Responsibility Chart too and fits in with how we teach her about getting daily allowance and saving money. It's like a game to her and that's how I like to teach her different things - through fun and games.  

To get her proper brushing motion, I told her to think of it like bus wheels going round and round to gently massage and brush her teeth. Sometimes bring in Monkey {her fave toy} to pretend to brush its teeth or we'll also have foam competitions to see who can make the most foam while brushing haha.

To get her to brush longer, I asked her to count 10 each time before she moved on to the next section of her teeth. Sometimes she gets distracted and loses count though so now we use the “Disney Magic Timer™ app by Oral-B”. From the app, she plays one of the 16 Disney or Marvel character {Ariel is her favourite!} and collects a new digital sticker after each 2 minutes of brushing her teeth. Pretty interesting as each sticker is different and she gets to see how she progresses with stars and milestone badges on a Brushing Calendar.

She finds this free app really fun and it works well in holding her attention and entertaining her for that 2 minutes brushing too :) You can download it on iTunes for iPhone / iPad or Google Play here.

4. Get them involved
Like getting fussy eaters to eat properly, it helps that we get Lil Pumpkin involved in the whole teeth brushing process. She gets to choose which toothbrush she wants {currently using the Oral-B Stages Power at home}, the toothpaste flavour, whatever mini games she wants to play while brushing teeth and the actual preparation like putting toothpaste on the toothbrush.

5. Use other resources
Even as adults, if we hear the same thing from the same person over and over again, it gets rather boring so what more kids? To keep things interesting, we'll read books and watch videos on brushing teeth for some outside perspective, and I also show her pictures of how people look like when they have tooth decay. It gives her a sense of reality on what happens if she doesn't do it, and provides a solid reason to keep on brushing her teeth daily, even if she feels tired or sleepy. Brushing teeth isn't just all fun, but a real necessity.

What other ways do you get your kids to brush their teeth?

Disclosure: This is a sponsored advertorial for Oral-B. All opinions are my own.



Masshole Mommy said...

Those are all great tips and I agree with every single one of them!!

Mary said...

We used the "Brush Your Teeth Please" book too!

An Apel a Day said...

Certainly great tips. My youngest does pretty well with brushing his teeth. My oldest does brush his teeth, but he doesn't always do the bast. We have to check his work.

Stacy said...

Haha love the thought you've put into this topic! I'm just doing it together with JE and that's it. I like the bus wheels going round and round, will try that one out.

Ai Sakura said...

Masshole Mommy: Great!

Mary: So cute, right?

Alissa: Yeah we definitely have to still check too.

Stacy: Ya I think it helps her to visualise the circular motion better haha