By Tia Cristy
Getting kids to brush their teeth is similar to getting them to eat their veggies; It’s a struggle. And once they finally stagger their way to the sink, battle the toothpaste on the bristles of the toothbrush and stick the everyday hygiene-device into their mouths, there is no guarantee they’re doing a sufficient job at cleaning those teeth. Caring for baby teeth is just as important as adult teeth. So how do you get your kid to enjoy the teeth-brushing ritual?
Make Sure They Like the Flavor
A majority of the time, kids that don’t enjoy the flavor of their toothpaste are less likely to want to brush. Thinking you’re ahead of the game because you invested in some bubblegum flavored toothpaste might not be the actual flavor their little buds appreciate. Communicate with your kids to find out if that cartoon-covered tube is really the flavor they like. Just because they like the character on the tube doesn’t mean the flavor is tasty. Some children prefer the regular mint over something kid-friendly. Going with something natural like Dr. Brite’s natural Kid’s toothpaste in strawberry or regular mint flavor might be a great option. Bonus, it’s all-natural!
Let Them Time Themselves
Your child is probably just like every other little sprout, touching your cell phone when you don’t want them too. Children also love to be challenged in a competitive way. Install a stopwatch on your phone. Place a two-minute countdown and let them be in charge of the countdown. The rule is—they can’t stop brushing. If they stop, the counter goes back to the two minutes. Parent Rule: Don’t keep your phone on the sink next to water. Remember, they’re still kids and accidents happen. Scared of the phone option? Try having them sing the ABC’s, slowly, about four times in their heads while they brush.
Check Their Breath
Hawking your child’s brushing habits isn’t the most fun thing to do, so if you want to give them space after you have explained the importance of brushing, Fine. But call them out after they’ve finished. Ask them to smell their breath. If you can smell that they didn’t do a good job, it’s pretty certain school peers will be able to tell as well. If they didn’t brush up to par, send them back into to do the job again. After having to repeat this process a couple times, irritation should stop them from slacking the proper affection for their pearly whites quickly. Plus, it’s a great moral—Do the job right the first time!
Making kids understand the truth about fresh breath and clean teeth is an important task. Starting good hygiene at a young age can prevent many diseases and heart issues later in life. Best of luck!
Tia Cristy is a radio personality and owner of TipsfromTia.com, providing tips to keep you looking good and feeling good!