Making Brushing Fun – A blog from our Guest Blogger Alex Mungo
May 24, 2016
Making Brushing Fun – How to get Your Children Brushing
We all want our children to pick up good habits and brushing is no exception. However, getting children to actually brush, and brush properly, can be something of an uphill struggle. Normally when it gets around to that time we are all exhausted and looking forward to a little peace and quiet of our own before we get to sleep ourselves. However, brushing is really important for children and adults so we thought we’d share some of the ways you can make brushing more enjoyable and help kids build their own routine into adulthood.
If you can’t beat them join them
One of the best ways to make sure children brush is to actually brush your teeth with them. Rather than waiting until your own bedtime keep your children company. This way not only will you get your own teeth clean but you can monitor your children and make sure that they brush properly and for the right length of time. Make sure you also floss and use mouthwash in front of them so that they learn that this is an important part of the routine.
It takes at least 3 months to build a habit that lasts and if you want to ensure this one sticks I’d recommend using a rewards system. This way you can get everyone engaged with brushing. Even if you have to use the carrot more than the stick. A good way to create a rewards system is to have a calendar on the wall and stickers to put on it whenever brushing takes place. To keep it working you’ll need a series of rewards. When I did this with my children I let them have sweets every three days and then a small toy every week without any missed brushings. It failed the first few weeks but after a few months we all had it cracked.
We all enjoy using reverse psychology from time to time with younger children and brushing is no exception. If one child refuses to brush then get everyone else in the bathroom brushing together. Children hate being left out so leave them alone. You may have to wait a few minutes without brushing but they’ll definitely join you.
There are now a wide variety of games, books and songs aimed at helping to get children brushing. If the above tactics just aren’t working then I’d recommend investing in some of these educational materials. If you spend 15 minutes before brushing time playing a game, singing a song or reading a book you can help educate children about the importance of brushing and the best ways to brush.
Toys, coloured toothbrushes and branded toothpaste can actually make it easier to get your children to brush. This isn’t for everyone as it is crass and commercial but it can at least make brushing more interesting for kids and get them interested in it.
Hopefully these techniques will help you to get your children brushing properly and regularly. Good luck.
This article was written by Alex Mungo, a writer with a keen interest in medicine, dentistry and health. He currently works for BDental in London.
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