How To Encourage A Young Child To Brush Their Teeth

One challenge of getting your child ready for bed may be having them brush their teeth. Brushing twice a day is crucial to maintaining excellent oral health, even if your child still has their baby teeth. Here are some tips for encouraging your child to brush their teeth.

Start The Routine Early 

It is always a good idea to start the brushing routine as early as possible. If you start your child with brushing while they are young, it will end up being just a normal part of bedtime, and they won't think twice about it. Even before your child has teeth, you should be wiping down their gums with a damp cloth to clean off the natural sugar left behind from milk. Eventually, move up to using a child's toothbrush with only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. It's never too early to start caring for their teeth, and it helps develop a good habit that will continue later in life.

Brush With Your Child

A good way to encourage brushing is to lead by example. It will help to get out your own toothbrush and brush along with your child so that they follow along. You'll find that your child will brush along with you for just as long as you brush, so try to brush for a full two minutes so that they get their quality brushing in.

To start encouraging quality brushing, try to act as a mirror for your child. Tell them to play along and mirror your motions, brushing each part of your mouth along with you. This will help ensure that they brush all parts equally and don't focus all their time on one spot.

Offer Brushing Choices

A child may be more encouraged to brush if they are able to make decisions about how they brush. Start by allowing them to pick out their own toothbrush. You may pay a premium for a toothbrush with their favorite character on it, but it may be what it takes to encourage them to use it. Your child can also pick out a toothpaste that comes in a unique flavor. Having strawberry- or bubble gum-flavored toothpaste can make brushing fun for them.

Create A Reward Chart

Consider making a sticker chart that rewards brushing every morning and evening. Once your child earns enough stickers, they'll receive some sort of reward for their good behavior. It can be something small like getting dessert after dinner or a small toy for a month's worth of brushing.

Contact a pediatric dental specialist near you for more tips.