Encouraging Children to Brush


While it usually takes about 6 months before your child’s first teeth will erupt, some babies are born with one or two teeth that have already broken through the surface. And, as soon as these teeth begin to show, it is important that they are looked after and brushed every day.

Many believe that since these are baby teeth, they are not as important. However, this is not true and not taking care of them could cause your child to have difficulty chewing or speaking properly. Baby teeth, or milk teeth, also play an important role in providing the framework for adult teeth to grow in later.

Some reports estimate that nearly 40% of children get cavities in the baby teeth, which is why it is so important to teach your children about the importance of proper oral care at a young age. Let’s look at a few different ways you can help encourage your children to brush their teeth.

Playing Copycat

All children learn by observing and then imitating behavior. Therefore, one good way to encourage proper brushing is to brush your teeth at the same time as your child to show them the correct way to brush. During this time, make sure to show them how to brush the surface of each tooth including the back molars. Another suggestion is to ask your child to brush your teeth for you. They will find this quite amusing and will be learning at the same time.

Using a Rewards Chart

Many children respond quite well to bribery and this can work to your advantage if you set up a dental reward chart. You can set up a monthly chart and reward your child with a sticker every time they brush their teeth. Then, at the end of the month, you can offer them a small prize such as a certificate commending them for being outstanding at brushing their teeth regularly.

Watch Videos and Read Stories About Brushing

There’s an abundance of videos online about brushing your teeth that promote proper oral hygiene. There are also many great songs that will encourage your children to brush their teeth. Children react well to music and having a song to sing along with while brushing will make the experience that much more enjoyable for them. It’s important that your child thinks this is fun and not a chore. You can also buy toothbrushes that light up and flash, which is sure to capture your child’s attention during brushing.

Please call Northwood Dental at (651) 687-0789 to schedule an appointment with your Eagan, MN dentist.

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