Health specialists recommend that parents brush their children’s teeth until they are at least seven years old. The problem sets in when it’s time to hand over the responsibility to the child. What if they miss a spot or swallow the toothpaste? What if they don’t like brushing activity?
Dealing with a child that won’t brush their teeth without a fight can be a bedtime nightmare. Unless they have a dental problem, such as crowded teeth, that is inhibiting them from brushing properly – in which case you can take them to Dr. Normand Bach for checking and treatment – your child should never go a day without brushing their teeth. These five tips can go a long way towards making tooth-brushing an enjoyable experience for your kid.
1. Set a good example
You’re the biggest role model to your 8-year old kids. You may have realized how much they try to emulate the way you talk, walk and go about little stuff in the house.You can put this to good use by brushing your teeth in front of them every morning. Slowly, it will dawn to them that brushing is a daily routine and that they will impress you by doing it.
2. Make it a game
The reason most children hate brushing their teeth is that there’s not much fun doing it. One creative way to show them the ‘fun’ side of it is dreaming up a story. You can talk about how sugar bugs are always waiting to attack teeth and how brushing after meals is the only defense they have. Add as much drama as you would like but avoid giving the ‘bugs’ and ‘battle’ creepy descriptions as this can be traumatic to some kids.
3. Involve the whole family
Children want to be part of everything they see mom and dad doing happily together. Get your partner and other children involved and turn brushing into a family affair.
4. Change your toothpaste
Toothpaste can be a reason some children just won’t brush their teeth willingly. Albeit they will ultimately have to learn to use regular toothpaste, your primary goal at the moment should be to get them accustomed to picking up a toothbrush and cleaning their teeth.
There are several toothpaste brands made specifically for kids. Children will be thrilled to see characters such as Spiderman and Batman on the packaging and get excited about the prospect of using it every morning and night. Try and find a toothpaste packaging themed to your little one’s preferences.
5. Do not let the toothbrush get in the way
It can seem like all toothbrushes are the same, but that’s not the case. Your child may hate brushing their teeth because the toothbrush you chose for them irritates their gums and tongue. Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles, and one with a small head that can fit seamlessly in your child’s mouth. Consider taking your child with you to the store for a better idea of the size of toothbrush that will work best for them.