Brushing your teeth is an obligatory hygienic procedure that not only adults, but also kids should regularly perform. However, it turns out that it is not so easy to accustom and teach a child to brush their teeth. Many parents around the world struggle with their children because of their unwillingness to perform this procedure on a daily basis.
The question arises: what to do so that brushing your teeth does not turn into a daily struggle and suffering? How can we help children develop a healthy habit of brushing their teeth, and how can I help them learn to do it the right way? A whole list of useful recommendations and rules will help.
Tip #1: Care from the first tooth
Many parents think that they should start teaching their baby to brush their teeth only after the formation of two rows of milk teeth. However, this is a mistake! Starting to take care of oral hygiene should be from the appearance of the very first tooth.
As soon as the baby’s first tooth erupted, you can begin to «look after» him. Of course, at first, instead of a child, a single tooth will be cleaned by mom or dad. But there is a huge plus in such a procedure: the child will no longer be afraid of the brush and manipulations with the oral cavity. You can do this without pasta. The main thing is to form an understanding in the baby that it is not painful and not scary, but necessary.
Once he learns to hold the brush in his hands, the duty of brushing can be completely entrusted to the child, at first helping him to properly position the bristles and rinse his mouth.
Tip #2: Regularity
Regularity is the main rule of accustoming children to hygiene. As you know, a habit is developed within 21 days, and is fixed, approximately on the 80-90th day. Therefore, the more often you involve the baby in brushing your teeth (even without toothpaste), the faster he will learn to do it without gaps — in the morning and in the evening (and sometimes after each meal, if necessary).
Tip #3: Lead by Example
In this case, one cannot do without a personal example. And really: how can you believe that it is necessary to brush your teeth if mom and dad don’t do it themselves? Yes, they may be tired, but without visualization, the child will never absorb important hygiene rules. Are you going to brush your teeth? Take your child with you! You will not only show him how to perform the procedure correctly from beginning to end, but also make sure that he does everything right.
Tip #4: A handy brush
It is useful for moms and dads to turn brushing their teeth into a ritual of special importance. After all, the baby always wants to be like adults! Therefore, he can be given his own toothbrush as a gift, like a big one. However, you need to carefully choose this personal hygiene item for your baby.
The handle of a children’s toothbrush should be short, thick and rubberized: so the baby can comfortably grab onto it so that it does not interfere and does not slip out. The bristles of the device should be ultra-soft so that delicate children’s gums are not injured. Synthetic bristle brushes are best because they dry better, leaving no chance for germs to spread.
Tip #5: Steep brush
Of course, for accustoming a child to brushing his teeth, only the convenience of a brush is not enough. Her appearance is also important! No wonder kids are always attracted to toothbrushes in the form of dragons, superheroes, animals and cartoon characters in the shops at the stands. And it’s great! Such a hygiene item once again makes the child want to use it.
Tip #6: Delicious Pasta
The modern market is replete with a wide selection of various toothpastes for children. This is great, because parents have the opportunity to purchase pasta that the baby will not be disgusted with. Standard mint pastes often cause a burning sensation in children, instantly giving them an aversion to brushing their teeth. But here is a completely different thing about pasta with pleasant tastes: strawberries, chewing gum, peach, chocolate … Pleasure, and nothing more! Just make sure that pasta does not become a substitute for breakfast;)
Tip #7: Hourglass
It happens that children become noticeably nervous, believing that moms and dads make them brush their teeth for too long. And since children have a poorly developed sense of space and time, two minutes seem like an eternity to them. What to do? It’s simple: buy an hourglass! Yes, not ordinary, but those that are nice to look at. The countdown during the procedure will turn into a pleasant fun for the baby.
Tip #8: Good Doctor Dentist
Sometimes teaching a baby to hygienic brushing of teeth can be done at the dentist. Pediatric dentists are well versed in this regard: they not only conduct a complete examination of the child’s oral cavity, but also educate him in every possible way. For example, they demonstrate the rules of brushing teeth on special mannequins and jaws that look like real ones! This will definitely fascinate a child and help him start to be kind to his teeth.
Tip #9: Educational cartoons
This method can be called one of the most effective, especially when it seems that nothing helps. Children are imitators. And cute cartoon characters proudly brushing their teeth will have a stunning effect on the consciousness of the child. The kid will begin to repeat all the steps of the procedure exactly after the funny characters and will be able to figure out why it is necessary to brush his teeth in the morning and in the evening.
Tip #10: Recording Success
Children’s result at first should always be noted. This is a great incentive for a toddler! What can be done? For example, hang a large calendar on the wall, where every day you stick a sticker or draw an asterisk for brushing your teeth. As soon as a certain number of them is typed (for a month or two), the child can be rewarded. For example, a new brush case or a small towel with a cute embroidered kitten.
Tip #11: Variety
By the way, pediatric dentists say that children quickly abandon the regular procedure due to boredom. But even this can be dealt with by having several options for hygienic devices in stock for the child. Tired of a pink brush in the form of a princess? Here’s a green brush with a painted owl on it. Tired of clear banana flavored pasta? Keep the beautiful tricolor!
Tip #12: Game Format
In many ways, it is the game format that allows parents to introduce their child to constant brushing without any problems. To do this, you need to turn on the fantasy a little. It is enough, for example, to compete with a child: who will have whiter teeth after brushing? And who can finish the cleaning exactly at the moment when the last grain of sand falls in the hourglass? And you can also play different situations: invite your child to overcome carious monsters with a special potion mixed from different pastes!
Tip #13: Accessibility
Another point that many parents forget. Brushing your teeth should be accessible: if a child is simply uncomfortable brushing his teeth, then he won’t do it. Therefore, organize the «procedural» space with maximum comfort. Let all accessories (including cups and towels) always stand and lie in plain sight, and the baby will have access to water, a mirror and a special ladder for the washbasin.