How To Get Kids To Brush Their Teeth!
Does this sound familiar?
Did you brush your teeth?
Let me check!
Did you use a toothbrush?
How long did you brush?
Come here, let me smell your breath!
If this sounds familiar then you might be parent! Seriously, I’ve had to go feel my kids toothbrushes to be sure that they really did brush their teeth. I remember rocking my kids when they were babies and thinking of all the things we were going to do together. I imaged long days at the park, braiding their long hair, and painting their fingernails but NEVER did I EVER think “one day we’ll be arguing about how often you brush your teeth”.
Parenting is content reality check ya’ll!
Keep Those Smiles Clean
We know how important our dental health is. In fact, the older I get, the more concerned I am with my kids taking initiative to care for their beautiful smiles.
We’ve made a list of ways you can help encourage your kids to make brushing their teeth a daily habit.
1. Set a good example.
That sounds simple I know but the example you set can be one of the most powerful tools you have! I started announcing when I was brushing my teeth and soon enough my kids wanted to join in. I’d simply announce from the bathroom that “Mommy is brushing her teeth now, who else wants a bright smile today” and over time they would love to join in and share this experience with me. Give it a try!
2. Use a timer.
Kids will generally endure anything for 2 minutes. We’ve used sand timers or my iPhone time and made it clear that our teeth brushing time was going to last for 2 minutes. The kids really liked knowing that this was a short “chore”.
3. Buy fun toothbrushes.
Again, this might seem like a simple suggestion but letting my kids pick out their own toothbrushes has helped a lot. They each have very different personalities and having the right toothbrush is one way I encourage them to enjoy keeping up with their daily brushing routine.
4. Talk openly about what happens when you don’t take care of your teeth.
We’ve always been very open and honest with our kids. Talking to them about their dental health is no different. We talk to them about the real consequences of not caring for your teeth, even very young kids can understand taking care of your teeth = happy smiles and not taking care of teeth = sad smiles. Be creative, draw pictures together or whatever it takes to help them get the point.
5. Use a reward system.
We loving rewarding our kids for the things they accomplish. As they learn to make caring for their teeth a habit, consider a reward system. I created the free printable below to help our kids keep up with brushing their teeth throughout the week. For our younger kids we help them remember to brush their teeth and check off each day and for our older ones we reward them when they use this checklist without our assistance.