“I’m not asking. Brush your teeth now.”
“Brush your teeth.”
“I don’t wanna!”
Conversations like this one are enough to make you dread bedtime. Unfortunately, many children take some serious coaxing to brush their teeth. As a parent, providing this encouragement is your unsavory but very necessary job. If your child refuses to brush his or her teeth, oral bacteria may have a field day, making cavities all but a certainty. But how do you get a stubborn child to brush? Your Polk City IA family dentist, Dr. Ryan Hussong, has a few good strategies.
Tips for Encouraging Reluctant Brushers
- Set a good example. Some children are more prone to brush their teeth without complaint if they see their parents brushing as well. Try to turn brushing into a family affair and brush alongside your little one. An added bonus of this strategy is that it will allow you to look over your child’s shoulder and correct any mistakes you may see with his or her technique.
- Play a song. Ideally, you should brush your teeth for 2-3 minutes. Thus, brushing timers were invented for children so that they would brush for the entire duration. However, your child may have more fun if you use a favorite song a brushing timer instead.
- Try a brushing chart. A tooth brushing chart is a valuable tool that parents can use to encourage their children to brush regularly. Brushing charts feature two check boxes for each day of several weeks. Kids can cross these boxes off as they brush their teeth, keeping track of their progress. However, how you incorporate a brushing chart is very important. Try issuing a challenge to your child to complete the chart, and offer a reward as incentive. Make sure the reward is a good one so that your little one will be properly motivated.
About Cornerstone Dental: At Cornerstone Dental, Dr. Ryan Hussong has made it a priority to ensure his patients’ comfort. He enjoys working with patients of all ages and forming relationships with families in the Polk City area. New patients can schedule an appointment or a consultation by calling (515) 984-6001.