Winning the Teeth Brushing Battle
Do you find getting your children to brush their teeth becomes a battle of wills in your house? You are not alone. In fact, many parents go through exactly the same with their children. However, startling figures reveal that over four years, 128,558 children had teeth removed because of decay. But untreated tooth decay is not just unsightly. It can cause severe pain, infection, affect sleep and cause drinking and eating problems.
The situation has become so bad, there’s even been calls for cigarette-style warnings to go on sweets and sugary food packets to help improve children’s teeth. While others suggest that schools should teach children about teeth brushing. Sugars and sweeteners can be damaging in many ways to children’s health but the most apparent and clear damage can be seen on the teeth. Surely getting children to brush their teeth should be our job as parents? We might not be able to send the tooth fairy around to help, but here are a few tips on getting your children brushing their teeth without a battle.
- Explain about the importance of healthy teeth
To get children to brush their teeth regularly, they need to understand why it’s important. You can start explaining about what we need our teeth for and why we need to keep them clean. Let them watch you brush your teeth and explain what you are doing as you do. You could even show them pictures of people who have lost their teeth due to not looking after them. Sometimes seeing the reality of not cleaning teeth can become a powerful weapon to get them to brush.
- Choose a fun toothbrush and toothpaste
Let your child pick their own toothbrush. It could be one that’s brightly coloured or has their favourite cartoon character on. Next let them pick their own flavour of toothpaste. Kids can choose from a traditional minty flavour to all sorts of exotic fruit flavours. As long as it’s age appropriate and contains fluoride, then it’s fine to go on their toothbrush.
It’s even possible to turn brushing teeth into a fun activity that children actually want to do. Children need to brush for two minutes so have them set a timer; you can even download an app on your phone to play two minutes of music to encourage your kids to brush for enough time. And if you need help to reach their back teeth, just get your child to pretend they are a dinosaur or lion and give you a bit roar. You’ll then easily be able to reach the back of their mouth.
Good oral hygiene should start as soon as children have teeth. It not only prepares their mouth for adult teeth, but it helps prevent dental-related illnesses and unnecessary pain and discomfort. And importantly, it gets them into good habits that will last a lifetime.