Five ways to help make teeth-brushing fun

Find out why it’s important to teach your children to brush their teeth from a young age, and read our tips on how to make teeth-brushing fun!

Like many of life's lessons, encouraging your children to regularly brush their teeth early in life is important for developing good habits. 

“Your child’s unwritten dental story is often determined from a very young age. The habits they form as children, guided by you, will have an effect throughout their lives," explains Dr Mark Psillakis, Bupa Dental's Executive Clinical Consultant.

"A lifetime of recurring dental issues isn’t pleasant, especially since many problems can be avoided."
 
Dr Psillakis recommends that babies have their gums wiped with a moistened washer after each meal, to remove food debris and to discourage the build up of potentially harmful bacteria. This becomes even more important when teeth begin to come through. Find out more tips on brushing your baby’s teeth here.
 
“When a child is older, and potentially more defiant, it’s time to get a little creative. There are many things that can be done to encourage children to brush regularly. Different things work for different personality types, so it’s up to parents to decide what’s best for each of their children.”
 
Dr Psillakis offers the following tips to help making teeth-brushing easier and much more fun for both you and your child.

1.  Lead by example

Children often mimic parents or older siblings, so make sure that your child sees you brushing and flossing. Better still, make teeth-brushing time a family affair.

2.  Make brushing fun

Let children choose their own toothbrush. Brushes, both electric and manual, come in all sorts of colours. Some might even feature their favourite TV or film characters, or play music, so there’s sure to be one that excites your child. 

If you’re feeling extra creative, why not create a story or song for your child that goes with brushing their teeth?
mother and daughter brushing teeth

3.  Create visual reminders of their success

The star chart has been around for as long as I can remember, both in the classroom and at home. For a child, there’s a sense of excitement in seeing the progression towards a goal and possibly a reward. A star for each brush, two stars a day, and a reward at 14 stars may be all that’s needed to encourage many children.

4.  Choose the right toothpaste

It’s important to choose the right toothpaste for the age of your child as there are different fluoride levels to suit different ages, and your child may have particular preferences about the flavour of the paste. If it's a flavour they enjoy, toothbrushing may become a whole lot more enjoyable.

5. Find educational aids

Educational tools like these are easily accessible online, and for some children, a message that comes from someone other than their parents is more readily heeded. 

Don’t assume that getting your children to brush their teeth needs to be a struggle. With the right approach from a young age, teeth-brushing can easily become a daily ritual they enjoy and one that will set them up for a lifetime of good dental hygiene.

Happy brushing, and don't forget to "live mouth smart"!

Up next:
Helping your child avoid dentist phobia
How to save a knocked out tooth

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