How to get your child to brush daily

brush daily

Credit: Konstantin Yuganov

Getting your children to brush daily can be such a chore. But how do to get them in the rhythm of doing it daily – without prompting? There are many ways. In fact, my son and I were at Soho Smile the other day. After Dr. Koutsoyiannis spotted two new cavities in my son’s mouth, we discussed this very topic.

Here’s what the dentist said he tells all his parents on that very subject. Getting your child to brush daily is a matter of doing four things.

Set the tone early

Have you ever heard the saying accountability starts at the top? Believe it or not, it’s the same concept that applies when it comes to getting your kids to brush on their own. Why would the do it on their own if they never see you brushing in the morning and before and after each meal? Make sense.

So, let that be a lesson. If you want your kids to brush responsibly each day, they’ve got to see you doing it too. But want to know what’s cool? If they see you do it often enough you won’t even have to tell them. They’ll imitate you and do it on their own.

Tell a story

Everyone appreciates a good story. Is there anyone who doesn’t? Your small kids will appreciate it, even if it has a good lesson in it. For example, let’s say you’re trying to impart the value of regular flossing. You can tell your kids how when you were their age you almost lost three teeth. However, the dentist showed you how to floss and over the next several years your gums and teeth gradually began to heal.

Next, your mom asked the dentist if you were in the clear and the dentist said yes and no. She explained that because you’d addressed the issue within that critical window of opportunity known as the initial phase of gingivitis, you no longer had gum disease. However, she also explained that a relapse could cause a rapid escalation of what had begun earlier.

Reward your child for good habits

Good habits should be encouraged, if not rewarded. Rewarding your child is one of the simplest steps you can take to reinforce good behavior. However, many times – as parents – we often do the opposite. That’s why it’s so difficult for kids to abandon bad habits. If you’d like to see this principle in action, just try it out at your next opportunity.

You’ll be amazed how quickly this one works. This is especially true when it comes to getting them to brush.

Get other family members involved

Make it a family affair. When everyone gets involved it raises the stakes in a way that is natural. The end result is that doing so allows you to make a point without your children getting the sense that you’re nagging them to act. And if there’s anything you don’t want your kids to associate brushing with nagging because then they’ll never do it on their own.

You’ve just learned four high power tips to help get your little ones to brush on their own. Hope you got as much out of this one as I did. Good dental hygiene goes a long way towards helping your child achieve optimal health later in life.

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