We all know how important it is to keep your child’s teeth clean, but when brushing is the last thing between your fussy, tired toddler and bedtime, it can suddenly seem a lot less essential. Hang in there, Mom and Dad. Grouchy nights are no match for you. Here are some helpful tips to beat bedtime brushing battles and keep your kid’s teeth healthy and strong.
Make it a fun thing
For grown-ups, brushing our teeth can be pretty mundane. It doesn’t have to be for our little ones. Make it a daily party — that’s right, party — by choosing one of their favorite songs that last around 2 minutes (the amount of time they should be brushing every morning and night) and dance like crazy for those 120 seconds. Disclaimer: drawing the fine line between crazy dancing and dancing-instead-of-brushing might be necessary.
Let them be a part of it
If you’ve walked down the kids or dental health aisles of your local store lately, you’ve seen all of the flashy, singing toothbrushes that make oral hygiene fun and friendly. Has your toddler asked you for one (if not begged)? These may seem extra, but allowing kids to pick toothbrushes that make brushing more exciting and personalized can turn a chore into a healthy, lifelong habit.
Brush together, stay together
Urging our children to brush regularly (2 minutes, twice a day) and correctly protects their baby teeth (and cavities in baby teeth can lead to cavities in adult teeth). It also leads to better oral health for a lifetime.
Show them just how important brushing is by getting the whole family in on it. When they see parents and older siblings brushing and enjoying cavity-free checkups, they’ll be more likely to follow suit. (Not everyone has to get in on the dance party, we suppose, but it’d be fun.)
Plenty of high-fives
What does everyone want to hear after a job well done? “Great job! “Awesome!” They’ve earned it!
So bring on the compliments when your kids take care of their baby teeth. After an early wake-up or a long day, praise and recognition go a long way.
Reward them with a sticker, a round of applause, or a high-five to let them know that they’ve done the right thing.
Give yourself a pat on the back while you’re at it.
Winning the dental hygiene struggle takes clever tactics and some perseverance, but the rewards are worth it.
Taking care of baby teeth will help make your child healthier, now and long into the future.