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Making Brushing Your Teeth Fun for Kids

brushing teeth

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Are you tired of resistance and tears when it comes time for teeth brushing in your house? Ready for a solution that gets your kids excited about brushing and eager for the next session? Great, then keep reading as we share some simple, yet effective ways to keep your children engaged when it comes to keeping their teeth clean.

Unfortunately, the art of explanation does not always work with children at brushing time and so you might find that practicing proper oral hygiene is a bit of a challenge – you are not alone. It generally proves pretty difficult to drag children away from the fun and games to take care of their chompers; however, it is possible. How, you might be wondering? The answer is simple – make if fun. Easier said than done, right? Not really. Try these simple steps to help bring a little fun and playfulness into brushing time.

Play Games

Sounds reasonable, right? Sure it does. What kid does not love playing games? Try something simple and silly like letting your child brush your teeth or cheering with every tooth that you get good and clean. Count the teeth and announce as each is sparkling and shiny. Maybe give your child a play toothbrush to let them brush their ‘lovies’ teeth with while you brush theirs. Download fun music apps that play two minutes of toddler tunes or something of that nature. There are also brushing racer apps that might prove useful.

Make It Special

The easiest way to get your child excited about brushing is to make it special. Letting them pick their own toothbrush and toothpaste is often very effective in this manner. Maybe it is Hello Kitty, Spiderman or My Little Pony – whatever it is, make sure that you are just as excited as they are when you finally find their favorite character on a toothbrush or tube of toothpaste. There are also DIY kits available that allow kids to design and decorate their own toothbrushes for those art inspired wee ones. Brushing your teeth with your child, or doing it as a family might also prove helpful in making the time more special and enjoyable.

Offer a Reward

Anyone who has ever had a toddler will tell you that there is nothing wrong with a little bribe here and there, within reason of course. If nothing else works, pull out the big guns and offer rewards. Positive reinforcement has a remarkable ability to encourage good behavior and cooperation in the bathroom at brushing time. Maybe it is a sticker, a special treat for breakfast or just letting them pick the night time story to read – whatever it is, make sure it is special to them.

Be creative and follow your instinct. With a little effort you might even find that eventually your child looks forward to brushing time! Teeth cleaning should be fun for your child, not a chore. So do your best to encourage good dental practices whilst still making it the best part of the day!

Brushing Your Child’s Teeth

Properly brushing your teeth is a lifelong habit that you want to instill in your child as early as possible. Until he or she is able to properly brush, however, you will need to lend some assistance.

How to brush a child’s teeth properly

Remember that your child will probably offer some resistance at first. You can try to reduce this by telling him or her that you are going to tickle their teeth and that it will be fun. You may show him or her some cartoons of other people (or things) getting their teeth brushed and explain that you are going to do the same thing. The more you can make it feel non-threatening, the less resistance your child will offer, and the easier it will be for you.

The biggest thing to consider in brushing is that you want to hit every surface so you will need a system. Some parents start in the front and work to the back; others start on the inside and work to the outside. It really doesn’t matter too much what order you go in so long as you follow your system and make sure to get every surface.

Use small circular motions, as this will clean the tooth better than simply moving back and forth. Try cradling your child’s head and asking him or her to let you count all of his or her teeth. If he or she starts to cry, you can sometimes take advantage of the open mouth to get all the way to the back.

Although the process will be a struggle at first your child will quickly get used to it and will eventually sit quietly and allow you to do the job. It does help to use a child-friendly toothpaste flavor such as bubble gum or grape. The mint flavors that adults favor may be too strong and unfamiliar to your child and might even increase the trauma associated with the event. Keep talking with your child during the entire time, letting him or her know what you are doing and try to make it a fun time.

Do you Brush your Tongue?

If you are not brushing your tongue, you could be leaving thousands of germs in your mouth that can be wrecking your oral health. Even if you are efficient with brushing and flossing your teeth, removing all debris, bacteria, and plaque, leaving bacteria on your tongue can cause problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, and even physical illnesses! Your tongue is a gateway to the rest of your body, which means that you can put your body in danger if the wrong bacteria are left to reside on your tongue. As an added benefit, brushing or scraping your tongue can make it possible to fight bad breath, which is impossible to eliminate if germs still reside in your mouth.

How to Brush Your Tongue

Brushing your tongue is a very simple process. You can use either your toothbrush that you use to brush your teeth or a tongue scraper, if brushing your tongue makes you gag a little. The tongue scraper is a flat tool that effectively scrapes the germs off of your tongue. The key is the technique that you use and that you are consistent about brushing your tongue rather than the tool used to do it.

It is important that you brush from back to front to avoid pushing the bacteria to the back of your mouth where it will cause more damage. Starting at the back of your mouth, scrape your tongue in a forward motion in order to remove the bacteria from your mouth. It is best to work from one side to the other and to work in straight lines so that you ensure that you hit every spot on your tongue. Once you are finished scraping your tongue, make sure to thoroughly rinse your mouth either with an ADA approved mouthwash or with warm water. Rinsing and spitting out the liquid will ensure that any remaining germs that are now loosened are removed from your mouth.

After scraping or brushing your tongue, you are left with fresh breath and a germ free mouth, giving you the best of both worlds – optimal oral health and fresh smelling breath.