Every parent knows how difficult it is to persuade a small child to do anything they do not want to do. Even bribery is often ineffective. As children get older, it becomes even harder to get them to agree to try anything new, which is why it is vital to get children into a good oral hygiene routine when they are very young, the earlier the better. Even tiny infants can have their gums massaged with a bit of damp gauze or an extra soft toothbrush. Starting young is the key to establishing a healthy routine that they will continue to follow as they get older. Here are some tips to help persuade your children to brush their teeth twice a day.
- Don’t try to scare them.
You know as well as I do that failing to brush regularly and thoroughly can damage teeth, but threatening a child is never a good way to get through to them, and could even backfire. Stand firm, and if your child asks, give them age appropriate information.
- Praise your child when he or she does brush.
Parents are often reluctant to praise their children for doing what they are supposed to do, but it’s actually a great way to reinforce responsibility. Children really want to make their parents happy, and praising your child let’s them know they’ve done just that. When you praise your child for picking up the toothbrush, or anything else you want them to do on a regular basis, they will be more likely to continue doing these things.
- Use the right toothpaste
You may think you’re in good shape if you can get your child to brush twice a day, but you could be doing more harm than good if you don’t have the right toothpaste (the best option is to consult with a holistic dentist). Many commercial toothpastes contain toxic chemicals that can be harmful to your child’s health. Consider making your own so you know exactly what you’re giving your child.