Dealing with a child who refuses to brush their teeth in the morning before school and again at night before bed can make life challenging. Not only will you and your child be in a bad mood all day, but also your child goes to bed angry at you and you go to bed feeling frustrated at your child.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to make them actually want to brush their teeth without throwing a fit or refusing to open their mouth.
- Don’t force mint flavoured toothpaste on them. Most kids actually dislike the taste of mint and this could be why they don’t want to brush. Have your child pick out a flavour of toothpaste they would be more inclined to use like bubble gum, strawberry, etc.
- Make brushing teeth a game. Most little kids like games so if you can get them to think of brushing as a game, they won’t refuse. For instance, you could look in your child’s mouth and tell them there are funny looking “teeth eating monsters” hiding behind their teeth. As they brush you can tell them they are trying to get away to direct brushing to different areas of the mouth. Once they are done, do an inspection and let them know it looks like they got them all.
- Offer special rewards. You could create incentives, like getting to stay up an hour later on a weekend night, getting to choose what the family watches on TV, selecting what is for dinner, or picking what games to play on family game night.
- Play music while they brush. Play a song they like when it is time to brush their teeth. Play the song for two minutes, which is how long your child should be brushing their teeth. You can play the entire song and let your child use their toothbrush as a microphone after brushing for even more fun.
- Challenge your child to a “brush off.” If your child likes winning at games, being challenged by their parent can be incentive to get them to brush. The rules are simple – whoever can fully brush their teeth for two minutes wins. Of course, you should let your child win the game as this will reinforce brushing habits.
- Find a story or video of your child’s favourite character brushing their teeth. Most kids’ characters and programs have at least one story about brushing teeth. You can use this story or video as reinforcement when it is time to brush.
By finding fun things your child enjoys and using them to get them to brush, they will no longer refuse when it is time to brush their teeth.
Remember to also bring your child in for regular bi-annual visits at Kennedy Square Dental as part of developing positive oral care habits. Call 905-789-7339 today to schedule an appointment!
Tags: Child to Brush Teeth
, Children Oral Care
, Children Teeth
, Oral Care Habits