encourage your kids to brush their teethFebruary is National Children’s Dental Health Month, but every day is a good day to encourage your kids to brush their teeth. Some children are habit driven or don’t mind taking a few minutes in the morning and the evening to clean their teeth. Others need some coaxing and encouragement. If you don’t know how to motivate your child to brush, read on for our tips!

Kids and Tooth Brushing

Not every kid likes to brush or floss. Most of them, if left to their own devices, will not keep up a daily oral health regime. That’s why parent involvement is so crucial in establishing good habits. What can you do to help make tooth brushing enjoyable for your kids? 

Let them pick their toothbrush and toothpaste – Involving your kids in decision making can give them some buy in, and letting them choose their toothbrush and toothpaste can be fun. There are so many different types of toothbrushes, from traditional to sonic toothbrushes. They come in all kinds of fun shapes and colors. There are plenty of toothpaste flavors too, from bubblegum to strawberry and even bacon! If they like the taste of their toothpaste and the look of their brush, they may not see it as a chore to brush their teeth. If you have more than one child, let each choose his own toothpaste. You may have less room in your bathroom drawer, but you will also have fewer fights. 

Incentivize brushing – Very few of us will do something we don’t enjoy if there’s no reward, and kids are no different. There are many different types of rewards to offer your kids, from sticker charts to prizes they can work towards by brushing every day for a week or a month. Think about what would appeal to your child and tie it in with tooth brushing. 

Turn on the music – What’s better than brushing your teeth? Brushing them to music. There are many tooth-brushing videos online that you can use as motivation, but playing their favorite music while they’re brushing is an easy way to make this a more fun experience. It will also help them brush longer, and since brushing for 2 minutes is dentist recommended, brushing to a song can help make that time frame happen. 

Brush with your kids – Kids, especially young kids, will copy what their parents do. If you model good oral health habits and brush your teeth while they are brushing theirs, they will be more likely to see this as an important part of their day and their life.

Encourage Your Kids to Brush Their Teeth

At Dental Associates of West Michigan, we treat patients of all ages and try to educate them on best practices for oral health. We love to see our younger patients maintain their beautiful smiles, so we always encourage brushing and flossing. If you need more help to encourage your kids to brush their teeth, talk to your dental hygienist at your child’s next dental checkup. They can make more specific recommendations based on your child’s personality and oral health.