What to do when they won’t brush!

Try these three simple tips to help your kids brush better and have happier, healthier smiles.

1.       Make it fun- I am no Carrie Underwood, but until my kids figure that out, they get to hear my lovely off pitch tunes. These little jingles make all of us giggle and the two minutes of brushing goes by much quicker. Even phrases like ‘We get to brush your teeth now!’ vs. ‘We have to brush your teeth!’ can make for a more positive experience. For older kids, try the Agent Blue Mouthwash. Have your child brush, then use the mouth wash and if there are no places that are blue, try a reward…which brings me to my next piece of advice…

2.       Bribery- Call it positive reinforcement or bribery, either way, it seems to work. At my house it is an extra book at bedtime. Some kids are better enticed by a later bedtime, stickers, or video game time. Try to avoid candy, it somewhat defeats the purpose of brushing J

3.       Start early and make it part of your routine. As much as my kids try to procrastinate their bed time with one last drink or any crazy excuse, we really try to stick to the routine. My daughter is great about starting to brush, my son is another story. I totally understand the struggle of trying to motivate the seemingly unwilling participant. Keep fighting the good fight and it will get easier…right?!?! Trying different flavors of tooth paste, a fun tooth brush, and floss picks vs. regular floss may also help. An electric tooth brush does a great job of getting teeth clean and many have timers so brushing lasts longer than a few seconds. Even young children can hold the brush and bite on it so allow them to start holding the brush early. Don’t forget to brush all of the surfaces of the teeth when your child is done. Little ones can also be gently cradled back in your arms so that you can see back teeth better. Remember to be gentle when brushing-it’s not about brushing hard, but about getting all of the surfaces.

 

Letting your kids brush first gives them independence and teaches them the coordination to brush on their own.

Letting your kids brush first gives them independence and teaches them the coordination to brush on their own.

Cradling your little ones help you to see those hard to reach back teeth and makes them feel more secure.

Cradling your little ones help you to see those hard to reach back teeth and makes them feel more secure.

Hopefully this helps your daily brushing battles become a lifetime of triumphs for healthy teeth. Good luck!

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