In theory, teaching your children to brush sounds easy. In actuality, however, something as simple as corraling them into the bathroom can turn into a herculean task. That said, the importance of teaching your children about oral hygiene cannot be overstated.
Not only can filling cavities become expensive, but complications like gum disease can lead to fever, difficulty swallowing or talking, and stroke. It’s also important to remember that teaching them to brush while at young age can instill important habits they’ll carry into adulthood. So if you’ve had difficulty in the past, strap on your listening cap, sit back, and take in these four tips.
Expand Your Methods of Persuasion
As a parent, you already know this simple truth: children don’t respond to logic. You could sit them down and tell them again and again about the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene, the dangers of not brushing and flossing, but that won’t necessarily motivate them to pull out the toothpaste every night.
Though it is important to give them background, you’ll also have to use pathos, and appeal to their imagination.
Have Fun and Tell a Story
Just like adults who spend thousands of dollars a year going to movie theaters, subscribing to streaming services, and renting movies, kids love stories. Stories keep us entertained and, more importantly, they teach us how to think about our own lives.
Brushing and flossing helps to keep our our mouths healthy and happy. Explain to them how plaque, the bad guy, wants to ruin our teeth, and how they need to do their part to keep the plaque at bay, and protect their mouths.
Show Them How You Do It
Your kids look up to you because you’re great. By having them watch you brush, not only will they learn proper technique, they’ll see how important it is to you and want to follow your example. To make this interaction more fun, play a game of Simon Says. When you brush your bottom teeth, they do the same. When you floss, so do they.
Families Who Brush Together…
Just like dinner time allows for family bonding, brushing can have the same effect. Gather the whole family into the bathroom so that everyone can brush their teeth together. Much like telling a story, or playing a game, this can teach children that brushing isn’t a chore but a positive experience.
In between helping your children to brush their teeth, you should also be caring for your own mouth. Remember that the American Dental Association recommends you have two check ups per year, to ensure small complications don’t advance into bigger and more painful ones. Getting your children’s care at the same family dentist can improve their overall health–and help you make that a positive experience for them, too.
If you are in Pueblo and in need of a check-up, please call (719) 545-1400 today for an appointment at Advantage Dental Group, your hometown Pueblo dentist.